Updated Apr 26, 2023 - Economy

Bed Bath & Beyond coupons "expire" as store closing sales start

Different Bed Bath & Beyond coupons spread out

Bed Bath & Beyond coupons will soon be worthless. Photo: Kelly Tyko/Axios

Bed Bath & Beyond coupons that never expire finally expired.

The big picture: Tuesday was the last day to use the iconic blue coupons — which households across the country have stowed away for years — before they were worthless.

  • The company's gift cards won't have value for much longer, either.
  • But consumers may still be able to snag deals during liquidation sales, which are expected to start Wednesday.

Driving the news: After months of speculation and failed attempts to save the company, Bed Bath & Beyond filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday and immediately began to liquidate, saying that it will reverse course only if it secures a last-minute sale of the company.

  • The company has 360 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and 120 buybuy Baby locations left after recent rounds of store closings.
  • All stores are expected to close by June 30, according to a court filing.

Flashback: The liquidation comes more than half a century after Leonard Feinstein and Warren Eisenberg started the chain as Bed ‘n Bath in 1971, specializing in linens and bath items, with their first store in Springfield, New Jersey.

  • The company grew to 11 stores by 1985, more than 300 by 2001, and 970 at its peak in the last decade, chief restructuring officer Holly Etlin said in a court filing.

The company owes much of its success to what Etlin called “one of the greatest retail coupons of all time,” which helped propel “Bed Bath & Beyond to become one of the first superstores in the United States.”

Zoom in: Here's what consumers need to know about Bed Bath & Beyond's bankruptcy, changing programs, and policies:

Bed Bath & Beyond 20%-off coupons

The popular coupons have changed in recent years with more exclusions and fewer mailed to shoppers.

  • After Target veteran Mark Tritton took over as CEO in 2019, the company minimized its coupons — a move Etlin said led directly to reduced foot traffic.
  • GlobalData managing director Neil Saunders told Axios that Bed Bath & Beyond's lenient coupon policy trained consumers to only buy on discounts, and that when the company tried to put restrictions around coupon usage, "it was seen by many as a major deterioration in service.”
  • "In recent years there has been an inherent conflict between trying to improve margins by restricting coupon usage and trying to generate sales growth," Saunders said.
  • The company also offered a 20% discount with its paid Welcome Rewards+ program, though many exclusions applied.

The end: The company confirmed to Axios that it anticipates it will “no longer accept coupons or Welcome Rewards+ discounts beginning April 26.”

Yes, but: Shoppers can redeem earned Welcome Rewards until May 15, but will not be earning new rewards on purchases, the company said on its website.

  • The paid memberships are not eligible for refunds, the website notes.

Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards

May 8 is the last day to use gift cards at Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy Baby stores, the company says.

  • If you have a merchandise credit, you have until May 15 to redeem it.

Of note: The Better Business Bureau suggests consumers look at a business' financial condition before buying a gift card.

  • "If news articles report that a company is on shaky ground, it might be best to purchase a gift card from another retailer," BBB said.

Bed Bath & Beyond, buybuy Baby returns

What they're saying: "Returns and exchanges will be processed in accordance with our usual policies until May 24 for items purchased prior to April 23," the company told Axios.

  • Purchases made during store closing sales are final and no refunds will be given, which is typical with liquidation sales.

Bed Bath & Beyond store closing sales

The going-out-of-business sales are expected to end by June 30, the company said, but closing dates can vary by location as could discounts.

  • Often the closing sales move faster after a company files for bankruptcy than when closing stores in attempts to avoid filing for Chapter 11.

Be smart: When shopping liquidation sales, compare prices to competitor stores to make sure you're getting a good deal.

  • Check products closely to make sure all parts are included because they can't be returned.

Bed Bath & Beyond wedding and buybuy Baby registries

Registry items can no longer be purchased but the company said it expects to partner with “an alternative platform” where shoppers can transfer and complete their registries.

  • "We will provide details in the coming days," the company said in an email to consumers.

Editor's note: This story was originally published April 24.

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