The home goods megachain Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, April 23 after struggling for years to stay afloat in an increasingly online marketplace. The company already closed 400 locations in the last year in an attempt to consolidate its operations and avoid filing for Chapter 11.

Known for its unique interior design and the seemingly endless supply of coupons in everybody’s mailbox, the company is moving to close its 360 remaining Bed Bath & Beyond locations. Additionally, the 120 remaining Buybuy Baby locations will close, as well.

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Bed Bath & Beyond struggled to survive the era of online shopping

It seems like not so long ago that Bed Bath & Beyond stores were everywhere. At its peak, the company had over 1500 North American locations. There is even a movie where the entire plot hinges on a character going to Bed Bath & Beyond.

But the online competition was just too robust. In-person, retail businesses continuously struggle to hold on to customers who prefer the convenience of companies like Amazon. In a matter of years, Bed Bath & Beyond’s once-thriving business model could not keep up with the growing demands of consumers.

In addition to consolidating their brick-and-mortar presence, Bed Bath & Beyond offered a controversial “Hail Mary stock” sale, with $1 billion in stock up for grabs. The company hoped to reduce some debt and get a much-needed cash infusion. However, that play only brought in around $360 million.

Furthermore, longtime employees say they will not receive any severance for their years of service, with much of the money going to shareholders instead. The company’s website confirms employees will still receive pay in the interim, but their Chapter 11 FAQ says nothing about severance packages.

In late 2022, the company’s CFO committed suicide

Remember when all those Redditors artificially inflated the GameStop stock and turned it into a massive windfall? Well, some major executives took notice and tried to do something similar. One of the people accused of a similar “pump and dump” scheme was Bed Bath & Beyond’s late CFO, Gustavo Arnal.

Arnal started with the company in 2020. In the decade prior, the company’s value went from $17 billion to just around $1 billion. The Venezuelan executive had big plans for the company that, according to a lawsuit, involved a similar method of artificial inflation.

We may never know the full details of the case because Arnal jumped to his death in September 2022. However, a lawsuit against GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen accused him of colluding with Arnal to extract more than $68 million in profits from his Bed Bath & Beyond stock.

The sale became legally questionable because it took place on the same day that Arnal imposed a $20 limit order sale. A limit order is essentially an offer that is different than the market price of the stock that sellers can take if and when they choose to.

The company advises customers to take advantage of big sales

Starting April 26, the remaining stores will take part in a widespread going-out-of-business sale, where shoppers will get great deals on the company’s remaining stockpile of products. According to their website, shoppers are welcome to scope out some good deals as the company closes its doors.

However, as far as those coupons are concerned, you have until the end of the day. Starting Wednesday, Bed Bath & Beyond will no longer accept any coupons. All purchases from April 26 onward will be final. Customers have until May 24 to return or exchange products purchased before that date.

Additionally, there will be no refunds on membership fees and “Welcome Rewards” are only valid until May 15. Lastly, stores will only accept gift cards until May 8.

Other stores are already closing in on coveted retail space

Because businesses are reluctant to invest in retail space, something developers focused on less following the 2008 financial crisis, the remaining brick-and-mortar business are in an advantageous position. Whenever a major chain like Bed Bath & Beyond goes out of business, others start circling.

Chains like TJ Maxx and Ross are still successful because they capitalize on a very particular corner of the retail market. Offering customers a bargain bin experience that requires them to parse through what they have on hand, stores like TJ Maxx continue to appeal to shoppers hunting for the best deal.

Additionally, gym franchises like Planet Fitness, which opened 200 new locations last year, are still expanding. With hundreds of retail locations up for grabs, successful chains like these are already preparing to start fighting for space in a real estate market that remains stagnant.

In February of this year, Burlington Coat Factory CEO Michael O’Sullivan said, “For us, the biggest source of new store locations comes from other retailers closing stores.” He added, “So many of our most productive locations were formerly Circuit City or Toys ‘R’ Us or Sports Authority.”

People aren’t exactly sad to see Bed Bath & Beyond go…

Between its financial mismanagement and the sacking of MyPillow’s Mike Lindell, it seems like nobody is too broken up about the news. On social media, most people are pretty indifferent about the end of the Bed Bath & Beyond era.

However, some people only care about the deals.

Even still, the dominating narrative here from conservatives seems to be that Bed Bath & Beyond closed because of…Mike Lindell?