Bed Bath & Beyond focuses on e-commerce, decor for holiday shoppers

  • Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis spoke with Business Insider about the company’s stellar summer sales, as well as its plans for winning during the holiday season.
  • Davis said the brand’s strategy includes a $29 annual loyalty program, enhanced e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment services, and earlier-than-ever holiday offerings.
  • The Bed Bath & Beyond executive said the company plans to remain “close to the customer” to continue to glean insights on consumer trends for the holidays.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bed Bath & Beyond pulled off a major back-to-school sales coup this summer, despite many colleges across the United States going remote due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the retailer is looking to apply those lessons to its holiday strategy, according to its Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis. Back-to-school and holiday shopping are the biggest traffic drivers for the brand. 

Davis credited the company’s positive second-quarter sales — which soared above analysts’ estimates, according to — with Bed Bath & Beyond’s ability to “pivot” to better suit customers’ needs during the pandemic. The company saw  89% digital sales growth compared to the same time period last year, although this was partially offset by a 12% decline in comparable-store sales.

“We had a plan in place for second quarter that was really different for us,” Davis said. “It was customer-inspired, data-driven, and really focused on our omnichannel services. It was a fully integrated plan and it really helped us deliver on Q2.”

The result was two million new customers flocking to Bed Bath & Beyond’s website.

Davis said that those new shoppers tended to be six years younger on average than the company’s existing customers. While Bed Bath & Beyond is known for inundating customers with 20% off coupons in the mail, this new crop of shoppers is less discount-focused and more engaged with e-commerce, she said. They also have a heightened interest in home decor.

“So it was a lot of excitement, because even though our stores were closed early on in the quarter, connecting with those new customers digitally really helped us deliver those results,” she said.

With so many universities only offering remote learning, fears over a dearth of back to school spending spread throughout the retail industry. Bed Bath & Beyond responded by analyzing how consumer needs might change in a virtual or socially-distanced learning environment. Those insights were then applied to different stores based on proximity to schools opting for virtual or in-person teaching.

When it comes to pandemic-era back-t0-school shopping, Davis said that items like coffee makers, cookware, cutlery, drinkware, and other kitchen electronics saw a bigger spike than expected, as pandemic-conscious students eschewed campus dining halls for dorm cooking. And with new customers eager to decorate for the holidays, that trend of surging interest in home goods is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

“Home has been the center of our lives for months since the pandemic started,” she said.

Davis said that the company intends to keep

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Fire Prevention Week focuses on safety in the kitchen

The Mount Prospect -based, nonprofit Illinois Fire Safety Alliance is promoting national Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!”

The campaign works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

“We know cooking fires can be prevented,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of outreach and advocacy. “Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes.”

The IFSA encourages all Illinois residents to embrace the 2020 Fire Prevention Week theme.

“The most important step you should take before making a meal is to ‘Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!'” said Fire Chief Jim Kreher, IFSA president. “A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented.”

Illinois Fire Safety Alliance wants to share safety tips to keep you from having a cooking fire:

• Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

• Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

• Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

• You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.

The Illinois Fire Safety Alliance will be highlighting many more fire safety tips in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week on its social media pages. To find out more about Fire Prevention Week and home fire safety tips, visit the following pages:

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

• IFSA Facebook: www.facebook.com/IllinoisFireSafetyAlliance

• IFSA Instagram: www.instagram.com/ilfiresafety

• IFSA Twitter: www.twitter.com/ILFireSafety

Since 1982, the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, has been dedicated to fire safety and burn prevention throughout Illinois. The IFSA also hosts burn survivor support programs, including Camp “I Am Me,” a unique weeklong camp

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