- Getty/Kevork Djansezian
- Bed Bath & Beyond‘s effort to clean up its stores is taking shape as it follows through on a plan to “show more, carry less.”
- The stores have been called “a mess” by at least one analyst in the past.
- The company said in 2018 that its stores would look “noticeably different” beginning in March of last year, as it would start cramming less core merchandise onto shelves and adopt a more curated look.
- A new survey of customers by Morgan Stanley implies that this change is beginning to take root in customers’ minds.
Bed Bath & Beyond‘s effort to clean up its stores seems to be making headway.
Its stores have been criticized in the past for being crammed with product, which has lead at least one analyst to call them a “mess.”
“They are a hodge-podge of product, tightly crammed into a space that is largely devoid of inspiration. This makes them hard and sometimes unpleasant to shop,” analyst Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, told CNBC in an email in 2018.
The company announced plans to make some changes in the form of what CEO Steven Temares called “show more, carry less initiatives” during a call with analysts in 2017, according to Retail Dive. He said the chain’s stores would look noticeably different starting in March 2018, with less cramming of core merchandise on shelves and adopting a more curated look.
The effects of that change are apparently starting to take root in customers’ minds. In a November survey of 1,350 furniture buyers by Morgan Stanley’s Alphawise, analysts wrote that responses from customers “implies a perception of [Bed Bath and Beyond’s] selection is moderating” in a note to investors.
In the survey, only 42% customers said that “selection of merchandise” prompted shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond, down from 55% in 2016.
- Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
The analysts were quick to point out that this could be due to the store’s announced plans coming to fruition, but that it’s too soon to say whether the change in perception is a good or a bad thing for the retailer.
On the other hand, citing “quality of merchandise” as a reason for shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond, grew from 43% in 2016 to 47%, while “store atmosphere and layout” fell from 26% to 23%.
Morgan Stanley also said that customers seem to be relying less on the retailer’s famous 20% off coupons, which may reflect success with its Beyond+ program, which gives permanent 20% off every purchase for a $29 annual fee.