Mar 7, 2022 - Economy

GameStop chair wants changes at Bed, Bath & Beyond


Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

RC Ventures, the investment firm of Chewy co-founder and GameStop chair Ryan Cohen, acquired a 9.8% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY) and asked the retailer to explore strategic alternatives, including a spinoff of its baby brand.

Why it matters: This feels like the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. Cohen's first-time activism with GameStop helped fuel its Reddit rally, while BBBY in 2019 held off an activist trio (it got some board seats, but not as many as it wanted).

The jokes: Did Cohen buy the shares with a 20% off coupon? Can you make an NFT of a duvet? Might "Beyond" get spun out and merged with what's left of [Linens 'n] "Things?"

The bottom line: "Cracks have emerged in Bed Bath’s overly ambitious strategy. Leadership should assess whether a shrinking small-cap retailer with a modest cash position and nearly $1.2 billion in debt can afford to roll the dice." — RC Ventures letter to BBBY board

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