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This Big-Box Brand Is Going After Bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond’s Customers

Days after Bed Bath & Beyond’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, rivals are already going after the big-box store’s customers.

On Thursday, Big Lots announced that it would accept the store’s 20-percent-off coupons for purchases of $50 or more through May 7. The news follows Bed Bath & Beyond’s announcement that its stores would stop accepting the coupons this week as it begins shutting down while hoping a takeover offer emerges.

“At Big Lots, our mission is to help people live big and save lots, which means we’re always thinking of ways to step up and deliver even more value to consumers,” Bruce Thorn, president and CEO of Big Lots said. “For anyone who has missed their last opportunity to redeem one of these coupons, Big Lots is opening our doors to help you save on your entire purchase.” The offer is not associated with, or endorsed by, Bed Bath & Beyond.

The multi-category retailer, which sells everything from food to toys and electronics, fills a void left by Bed Bath & Beyond with its home décor and furniture assortment. The store also carries bedding and bath products, kitchenware, pet supplies, laundry and cleaning essentials. Big Lots exclusively sells the private-label furniture brand Broyhill at its 1,425 stores and on its e-commerce site.

Big Lots will accept Bed Bath & Beyond's expired coupons.
A Big Lots store. Courtesy of Big Lots

The Container Store also said it will accept bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond’s expired coupons through May 31. The retailer tweeted that customers can redeem “a competitor’s blue coupon” in its 97 stores.

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Bed Bath & Beyond’s business has been circling the drain for several seasons, with indicators of financial decline first emerging in 2018. Merchandising mistakes drove customers to competitors. A focus on private labels misfired with shoppers looking for name brands. In 2020, the retailer’s chief merchandising officer, Joe Hartsig, admitted to investors that the chain had “an over-reliance” on the margin-killing coupons.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s Chapter 11 filing lists both assets and liabilities at between $1 billion and $10 billion. Bed Bath & Beyond has $1.8 billion in total funded debt obligations, including $791.5 million in secured debt and nearly $1.03 billion in unsecured debt. It has secured a $240 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) loan from Sixth Street Specialty Lending Inc. to fund its bankruptcy. The company has said it plans to honor the “obligations of critical vendors,” though unsecured creditors might be out of luck.