January 29, 2023

Bed Bath & Beyond

Read this jargon-infused love-letter about Bed Bath & Beyond from two years ago (click here).

Did any of this ... any of this ... make a difference? The brand defaulted on January 13 (click here) and is cruising toward bankruptcy.

My goodness.

It does not matter if you reduce friction by cutting down the number of purchase steps from seven to three if the customer doesn't want to buy what you are selling.

It does not matter that you can buy online and pickup in a store if the customer does not want to buy the item in the first place.

It does not matter if you are digital-first if the customer does not want to buy the merchandise you offer.

It does not matter if you self-proclaim that you "established a digital-first, agile, creative customer experience organization" if the customer does not want to buy the merchandise you offer. What does the sentence fragment even mean? Be honest.

I've been harping on this for a decade, and some of you are likely tired of hearing me say it ... and the rest of you simply disagree with me ... but you HAVE to sell something that the customer wants to buy, or must buy to survive. Notice that the article doesn't say anything about what they sell ... the trade journalist and the PR person from Bed Bath & Beyond who got the article printed are assuming that the hurdle separating profitability and the customer was ... wait for it ... "omnichannel".


P.S.:  This is where I receive emails from omnichannel advocates. They'll say "A shift to omnichannel strategy happened too late. Had they done this a decade ago, who knows where they would be?" Yeah, who knows? Would they be limping to the finish line like Macy's? Would they be out of business like Circuit City, who pioneered "buy online and pickup in store"? I understand it is fun to sell eight-figure operational systems designed to allow the customer to bathe in an omnichannel bath of delight. But that's not why the customer purchases from you. Spend your time and energy selling something the customer wants to buy. And if you are in marketing, get to know every darn item your brand sells and how well every darn item performs ... then feature those winners in your marketing efforts (with nudges to try new products as well).

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