Bed Bath & Beyond Shoppers Looking for Bankruptcy Deals Find They’re Scarce

Shoppers looking for last-minute deals at remaining Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. locations found it was business as usual Monday, albeit with uncommon levels of sadness and frustration.

(Bloomberg) — Shoppers looking for last-minute deals at remaining Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. locations found it was business as usual Monday, albeit with uncommon levels of sadness and frustration.

There were few indications of liquidations or looming closures at several stores across the US despite news over the weekend that the retailer had filed for bankruptcy protection and planned to shutter all of its locations. The end of the company’s 50-year run as one of America’s largest home-goods retailers will likely be slow — much like its path to bankruptcy.

Employees at multiple locations said discounts will begin in earnest on Wednesday, to the disappointment of shoppers who were hoping to beat the rush.

“Everybody’s looking for a sale, but there’s nothing on sale,” one woman shouted to a man pushing his cart at the Bed Bath & Beyond in Yonkers, New York.

Terry McGarvey, who resides in Mohegan Lake — over 30 minutes away — came after discovering another, more conveniently located store was already closed. She was looking for a marked-down Dutch oven, but they were still at full price.

Read More: Bed Bath & Beyond Plans to Swiftly Liquidate, Shutter Stores

Inventory levels were decent overall in Yonkers, with a few exceptions, like the half-empty shelves of K-Cup coffee pods, one of the few items on sale. (They were 25% off.) 

Elaine Trader, of Dobbs Ferry, New York, said she had a $50 gift card she was hoping to spend. She was sad to see the closures, she said, and had been to another Bed Bath location about a month ago, looking for a SodaStream refill canister. It wasn’t in stock.

An employee at the Chelsea flagship store on New York’s Sixth Avenue said store operations will be largely normal until the sale starts on Wednesday, and that management hasn’t informed staff about if or when the store might close. The store wasn’t advertising any sales beyond regular discounted sections, and only a handful of customers were shopping within the location’s two-story complex.

Slowing Foot Traffic

A banner on the company’s website Monday reads, “We have made the difficult decision to begin winding down our operations” and notes that “Bed Bath & Beyond and Buybuy Baby stores remain open to serve you.”

Foot traffic at Bed Bath & Beyond stores overall has been declining steadily since the beginning of the year, likely as customers await deep discounts. As of the week of April 10, store traffic at Bed Bath & Beyond locations nationwide was down 43% from the year earlier, according to data from, a location analytics company. 

Meanwhile at a Bed Bath & Beyond store near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, gaps were beginning to appear on the shelves as customers loaded up their shopping carts. Kathy Shojaian, who emerged from the store with bags of goods such as towels and glassware, said she made a point of using up all her discount coupons before the company stops accepting them on April 26.

“I’m not sure where I’m going to go,” she said, adding that she was “very disappointed” that the chain was closing. “They were the go-to store for a little bit of everything.”

“Other than Walmart, it’s hard to find everyday items,” said Jane Belcher, 70, who was browsing through the linens section and lamenting Bed Bath & Beyond’s plans to shut down. “We do a lot of stuff online, but if I want a set of sheets, I want to be able to touch it.”

One of the biggest challenges for Bed Bath & Beyond was adapting to the growing e-commerce landscape, a failure that the company called out explicitly in the bankruptcy filing.

‘No More Merchandise’

In Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, people were browsing for items including silverware and coffee makers. The front door still bore a sign that said the location was hiring, advertising flexible schedules and employee discounts. A store worker said products probably will be discounted by 10% at first and that the store will be open for some time while it tries to sell through all the merchandise.

Meanwhile, operations at stores that closed ahead of the bankruptcy filing continued winding down Monday morning. At the former location near Columbus Circle in New York, a sign was being added to the front door directing FedEx and Brinks delivery employees to call a phone number to be let into the building. A handwritten sign taped to the store’s door read “RIP Bed Bath — Lincoln Square” in red marker, alongside a larger sign that said “No more merchandise.”

–With assistance from Leslie Patton, Brendan Case and Ilena Peng.

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