Bed Bath & Beyond lives on!(line). Overstock.com buys rights to bankrupt retailer and changes name
NEW YORK (AP) — Bed & Bath & Beyond will live on, online at least, after Overstock.com acquired the bankrupt retail chain’s intellectual property assets for $21.5 million.
The online retailer Overstock.com is dumping its name online and will become Bed & Bath & Beyond, which declared bankruptcy earlier this year. Overstock.com’s CEO Jonathan Johnson told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Thursday that the company is considering changing its corporate name but won’t make any decisions until after it digests the assets.
The switcheroo to a very recognizable brand was cheered on Wall Street. Shares of Overstock.com Inc., based in Midvale, Utah, soared nearly 20% during afternoon trading Thursday.
The deal doesn’t include Bed Bath & Beyond stores, the last of which are expected to be shuttered Friday, or the Buybuy Baby chain.
The name change will roll out in Canada next month and in August, a relaunch of the company’s website and mobile app as Bed Bath & Beyond will appear in the U.S. Those visiting overstock.com will be redirected to bedbathandbeyond.com.
The name Overstock still confuses some customers and suppliers who thought it was a liquidator. That’s how it got its start in 1999. It transformed in 2004 into a general merchandise retailer, selling a wide variety of items. In 2021, Overstock finetuned its strategy to focus on furniture and home decor, getting rid of items like clothing.
When Bed Bath & Beyond’s financial woes deepened last year, Overstock.com tried to court the retailer’s suppliers but it met with some skepticism. But after its bid for Bed Bath became public last week, it was able to add 100,000 bed and bath items to its site, Johnson said. He expects that pace will pick up.
“I can’t count how many times we were asked when we were going to change the company name,” he said. “This opportunity is too good to be true. We are Bed Bath and a bigger beyond.”
Johnson said that it will offer some coupons to cater to the Bed Bath & Beyond customers who were used to the popular perk, but he noted that customers will be surprised that the discounts offered by Overstock.com are actually better on an every day basis. He also added that Overstock plans to step up marketing to Bed Bath & Beyond customers to make them aware of the change.
He estimated Overstock.com has about 5 million customers; Bed Bath & Beyond’s online customers number about 10 million.
Bed Bath & Beyond — one of the original big box retailers known for its seemingly endless offerings of sheets, towels and kitchen gadgets — filed for bankruptcy protection in April. The filing followed years of dismal sales and numerous attempts to turn the flailing business around.