Bed Bath & Beyond coupon shoppers take note: If you have any of its big blue 20% off coupons in your drawer or inbox, you better use them soon.
The struggling home goods retailer issued a dire forecast on Thursday, casting doubt on its ability to stay in business much longer and saying it was exploring a path forward, including filing for bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy filing, which is expected to come within weeks, could lead to the end of its iconic coupon programs, especially if the company. conducts bankruptcy proceedings that involve liquidation rather than just restructuring.
“If Bed Bath & Beyond files for bankruptcy, the retailer can keep the 20% coupons for a 30-day period. After that, and especially if it starts closing stores and setting liquidation sales, lenders won’t want to let shoppers use those 20% off coupons on top of the 70% off liquidation prices,” said retail expert and managing director Burt Flickinger. retail consultant Strategic Resource Group.
Other retailers followed a similar game plan after bankruptcy and store closings.
Toys ‘R’ Us awarded gift cards, store credits and coupons for 30 days after filing for bankruptcy in 2017 and subsequently liquidating its US business. The toy retailer has since made a comeback through a partnership with Macy’s and opened its first post-bankruptcy store under new ownership in 2019.
Lenders aren’t the only ones who can take issue with a store honoring coupons on top of cancellation discounts. “Especially for name brand suppliers, they don’t want a deep discount to negatively affect their brand image,” said Ali Besharat, associate professor of marketing and co-director of the Center for Consumer Insights and Business Innovation at the University of Denver. Daniels College of Business.
Bed Bath & Beyond has released an oversized coupon for 20% off one item three decades ago.
Over time, a digital coupon with an oversized postcard-like mailing and an eye-catching purple-blue border and “20% off in-store or online” fonts have developed a cult following and become a successful marketing strategy to attract repeat customers, Flickinger said.
Coupon became so synonymous with the household goods chain that it earned the nickname “Big Blue.” New York Times report. It became a pop-culture reference after celebrities and late-night talk show hosts incorporated it into their on-air conversations, the report said.
Despite having a weekly coupon expiration date on various social platforms, Big Blue coupons have been rumored to never expire.
Then the pandemic hit and devastated the retail industry. With months of store closures and consumers rethinking non-essential purchases, Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales and profits have taken a hit. In late 2020, the retailer said it was expanding its popular coupon program to boost business.
Two years later, company executives called the move a “huge mistake,” admitting they misjudged how many shoppers were coming to accept the regular cadence of Big Blue coupons.
And now, Big Blue’s future may really be in jeopardy. It depends on what happens next.
“Whether Bed Bath & Beyond’s loyalty programs survive depends in part on whether the company goes through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, also known as restructuring, or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation,” said Chandan Jha, associate professor. in finance at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.
“If it’s the former, then there’s a very, very high chance that the rewards programs will survive and the company will be awarded any available rewards and coupons. After all, a company does not want to lose its customers and these loyalty programs or loyalty rewards are done to retain customers,” said Jha.
But if the company goes through the liquidation process, then it’s unclear whether those reward points and coupons will be awarded, he said.
“It’s entirely possible that the points are simply useless because the company no longer exists. However, sometimes reward points work differently and can survive even after the death of the parent company.” “Anyway, if I were a customer with rewards points and coupons and the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, I’d use them before they lose value.”