The shops at Bed Bath & Beyond have always been chaotic. Now it’s Marie Kondo decluttering

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CNN Affairs

For years, shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond has meant facing chaos. You could waste hours sifting through a mishmash of items on cluttered shelves and leaving with nothing.

From now on, the chain is trying to organize itself, à la Marie Kondo.

At its flagship site in New York, the chain has eliminated 44% of products and classified what remains by category, price and brand., unlike his previous strategy of carrying dozens of different bath mats and can openers. The chain also lowered shelves, widened aisles and reduced space on the sales floor by around 15% to make it easier for customers to find the products they are looking for.

This is all part of Bed Bath & Beyond’s plan to “modernize” its stores. The chain is making a $ 250 million investment to declutter and renovate 450 locations – more than half of its total – over the next three years. Bed Bath & Beyond has faced declining sales and lower foot traffic in recent years, with shoppers going to stores like Target and buying on Amazon, which carry much of the same basics that Bed Bath & Beyond sells.

Rob Tannenbaum / Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond lowered the shelves and widened the aisles of its refurbished flagship store in New York City to create an open feel to the store.

CEO Mark Tritton explained some of the changes during an event with reporters on Tuesday. “We just didn’t need to stack [products] ceilings, ”he said, noting that buyers were previously overwhelmed by their choices.

Tritton joined Target’s Bed Bath & Beyond two years ago and has led the business through a turnaround over the past year, with homebound shoppers increasing their spending on essentials for the kitchen and home. The company is also closing 200 underperforming stores.

The flagship store is expected to reopen Thursday after seven months of renovations.

It offers new mini-shops for brands such as Casper, SodaStream, Nespresso and Dyson where shoppers can test products and coffee for shoppers to grab a La Colombe coffee or a mid-store sandwich. Bed Bath & Beyond’s goal with these additions is to get shoppers to spend more time in the store. However, the flagship is the only refurbished store that will have a cafe.

Bed Bath & Beyond has also tried to appeal to customers who want a quicker visit to the store. It added a dedicated pickup area for customers who buy products online, a feature to its mobile app where customers can scan and purchase products on the app when they shop and bypass the payment line, and self-service payment stations.

Cristina Fernandez, retail analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, said Bed Bath & Beyond stores “looked outdated” and “hadn’t been invested in for many years.”

The store's new bedding section with the private label Wild Sage from Bed Bath & Beyond.  One executive described the old sleeping area as

Rob Tannenbaum / Bed Bath & Beyond

The store’s new bedding section with the private label Wild Sage from Bed Bath & Beyond. One executive described the old sleeping area as “dark and dingy.”

Modernizing stores will be crucial in helping Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) compete with Target (TGT), HomeGoods, At Home (HOME) and Amazon (AMZN), she said. “Their stores weren’t exactly a great shopping experience and that had to change.”

Another flagship change: Joe Hartsig, the company’s chief merchandising officer, said Bed Bath & Beyond had previously “not reached out to more value-conscious consumers.” So he’s introducing new private labels like Simply Essential – a line of home, kitchen, and bathroom products with $ 1 serving ladles and spoons, $ 4 bath towels, and $ 1 pillows. $ 5 – in the store with big blue signs announcing their low prices. The company plans to increase its private label sales to 30% of total sales, up from about 10% last year.

Executives at Bed Bath & Beyond also pointed out at Tuesday’s event that the renovated store has better lighting and upgraded flooring than the old one. Stacey Shively, senior vice president, said the bedding and bathroom section in the store’s basement was “dark and dingy and a little depressing.”


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