As of Tuesday, customers searching for either retailer online will wind up on the same landing page
August 1, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. EDT
Bed Bath & Beyond is back … kind of.
As of Tuesday, Overstock officially swapped its name out forthe now-defunct housewares chain. Customers searching for either retailer online will wind up on the same landing page, where both companies’ logos will be displayed for the next few months.
Overstock — once an online repository for closeout furniture, home decor and more — acquired Bed Bath & Beyond’s intellectual property for $21.5 million in June, about two months after the companyfiled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Therebranding is expected to build on both companies’ strengths, said chief executive Jonathan Johnson.
“We thought we had a good operating model but a bad name; we thought Bed Bath & Beyond had a great name but a bad operating model,” he said. Overstock, unlike Bed Bath & Beyond, doesn’t own its inventory. Rather, third-party suppliers ship the items directly to customers.
Overstock has been testing the transition in Canada since June. Now, U.S. shoppers will experience the same. Here’s what you need to know.
WHAT TO KNOW
- Why would Overstock want to rebrand as Bed Bath & Beyond?
- Remind me — what happened to Bed Bath & Beyond?
- Can I buy the same things I could get at the original Bed Bath & Beyond?
- I have an Overstock credit card. Can I still use it?
- Will there still be coupons?
Why would Overstock want to rebrand as Bed Bath & Beyond?
Bed Bath & Beyond has strong brand recognition and a fervent customer base — two things Overstock needed, said Mindy Weinstein, founder and chief executive of the digital marketing company Market MindShift.
“It’s a very smart move from a marketing perspective,” she said, citing in particular the savings. “They cut so many of the painful processes and time it takes to rebrand yourself.”
Meanwhile, Overstock’s name has “been a liability for them,” said Barbara Kahn, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Consumers still associate the brand with its original business of selling surplus or returned inventory, even though it moved away from that model years ago.
The same was true for suppliers, Johnson said, noting that some brands were hesitant to sell their product on the website for fear of being associated with liquidation.
Customers may also still associate Overstock with its former chief executive Patrick Byrne, who resigned in 2019 after saying he dated a Russian agent and was involved in a “deep state” investigation of the 2016 election. Soon after, he and another executive were named in an investor’s lawsuit accusing Overstock of securities fraud.
The company already is seeing benefits from the rebrand, with suppliers it had been courting for years now “knocking on our door,” Johnson said. More than 600,000 new products have been added to the website since the Canada rollout started, he added.
That said, there are risks to such a major rebrand, according to Kahn. The company “has to meet customer’s expectations” of what they would expect to find at Bed Bath & Beyond, she said.
And the company has a lot of ground to make up. Second-quarter earnings released last week showed active customers dropped nearly 30 percent year-over-year and revenue declined 20 percent.