Fresh off a major summer comeback, Bed Bath & Beyond ebed xecs say they are doubling down on e-commerce and decor for homebound holiday shoppers

bed bath & beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond is winning with shoppers stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 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

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White House, Democrats remain far from deal on fresh round of COVID-19 aid

By David Morgan and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cautioned on Thursday that Democrats and the Trump administration remain far from agreement on COVID-19 relief in several key areas, saying the two sides were locked in debate over both dollars and values.

Congressional Democrats led by Pelosi have proposed a $2.2 trillion package to respond to a pandemic that has killed more than 207,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work. Republican President Donald Trump’s negotiating team has suggested a $1.6 trillion response, and the White House on Thursday dismissed Democrats’ offer as not serious.

As lawmakers prepared to leave Washington for the remaining weeks of the 2020 presidential and congressional campaign, Pelosi was to speak again to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin by phone at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), a source familiar with the situation said. They were expected to try to bridge divisions over aid to state and local governments, Democratic demands for a child tax credit and stronger worker safety, healthcare and small businesses.

“We not only have a dollars debate, we have a values debate. Still, I’m optimistic,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference.

That public confidence belied Pelosi’s message to fellow Democrats in a Thursday call. She told colleagues “I don’t see a deal happening right now,” a Democratic leadership aide said, confirming an earlier Politico report.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany dismissed the Democratic proposal as “not a serious offer.”

Pelosi said of the White House proposal on Bloomberg TV: “This isn’t half a loaf. What they’re offering is the heel of the loaf.”

A bipartisan deal has been long delayed by disagreements over Democratic demands for aid to state and local governments and Republican insistence for a provision protecting businesses and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

Republican Senator Mike Braun told CNBC on Thursday that a deal worth over $1.6 trillion could be rejected by one-third to one-half of Senate Republicans. That would still allow a bill to pass with support from Democrats.

Pelosi and Mnuchin met for 90 minutes in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and each emerged pledging to continue discussions.

Mnuchin raised hopes of an agreement by telling reporters that the discussions had made “a lot of progress in a lot of areas.”

Lawmakers and securities analysts viewed talks as a last-gasp effort to secure relief ahead of the Nov. 3 election for tens of millions of Americans and business including U.S. airlines, which have begun furloughing over 32,000 workers.

The Trump administration has proposed a $20 billion extension in aid for the battered airline industry, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters late on Wednesday. The extension would run for six months.

Mnuchin said separately that a deal would also include direct payments to American individuals and families.

Pressure for a deal has been mounting on the White House and Congress, from the devastating effects of a coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 7.2 million people in the United

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‘House Party’ Podcast: Is This the Most Dramatic HGTV Show Ever? Plus, How To Stay in ‘The Fresh Prince’ Mansion

We have to admit we’re kind of relishing the train wreck that is “Windy City Rehab,” HGTV’s embattled reality series about flipping houses in Chicago.


House Party” is®’s official podcast about the overlapping worlds of real estate and pop culture, hosted by Natalie Way and Rachel Stults. Click the player above to hear our take on this week’s hot topics.

With so many feel-good home improvement shows out there, we have to admit we’re kind of relishing the train wreck that is “Windy City Rehab,” HGTV’s embattled reality series about flipping houses in Chicago. The show, in its sophomore season, is hosted by designer Alison Victoria and contractor Donovan Eckhardt—who made headlines this summer with their mountain of legal troubles.

The tension between the two in the series’ Season 2 premiere is palpable—and we’re kind of here for it. We do a deep dive on all the drama, and discuss whether the show can survive another season.

Other segments this week:

Want more “House Party”? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And please: Throw us a five-star rating if you like what you hear. The more good ratings and reviews we have, the easier it is for people to find us.

Want to chime in? Have your own crazy home-related story you’re dying to share? We’re all ears, eagerly waiting to discuss all of your burning real estate questions on “The Mailbox” segment. Email us at [email protected], follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or tweet us @housepartypod on Twitter.

The post ‘House Party’ Podcast: Is This the Most Dramatic HGTV Show Ever? Plus, How To Stay in ‘The Fresh Prince’ Mansion appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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Fresh twist in case of Sydney mother-of-two who died in the bathroom of a party boat the Lady Rose

Fresh twist in case of mother-of-two who died in the bathroom of a party boat as it’s revealed she ‘was poisoned by a harmful gas’ and captain is charged

  • A mother-of-two died in the locked toilet cubicle of cruise boat the Lady Rose
  • Shalina Abdulhussein, 39, was found by deckhand slumped over bathroom sink 
  • Her devastated family believe she had inhaled toxic gas in the confined space 
  • Other partygoers reported noticing a ‘strange smell’ earlier on the voyage 
  • An investigation found a ‘faulty waterless basin trap’ within the sewage system 
  • The faulty system led to the release of hydrogen sulphide into the cubicle
  • The captain, Paul Titze, 45, has now been charged with multiple offences 

Shalina Abdulhussein, 39, was found slumped over a bathroom sink on the three-level Lady Rose catamaran on February 2

Shalina Abdulhussein, 39, was found slumped over a bathroom sink on the three-level Lady Rose catamaran on February 2

The captain of a party boat where a mother-of-two was likely killed by poisonous gas which leaked onto the ship from a faulty sewage system has been charged over the incident.

Shalina Abdulhussein, 39, was discovered slumped over a bathroom sink on the three-level Lady Rose catamaran on Sydney Harbour on February 2, 2019. 

She had been celebrating at a birthday party on the ship before her body was discovered by a deckhand during the four-hour cruise.

Rumours quickly began swirling that she had been died of a drug overdose but her family vehemently denied those claims.

An investigation by the Office of Transport Safety has found a ‘faulty waterless basin trap’ within the sewage system led to the release of hydrogen sulphide into the cubicle.

Hydrogen sulphide is a colourless gas, which smells like rotten eggs. High-level exposure of the poisonous gas can be deadly.

The captain of the ship Paul Titze, 45, of Botany, has been charged with multiple offences by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) relating to the incident.

Ms Abdulhussein had been on board the Lady Rose catamaran for a four-hour birthday party

Ms Abdulhussein had been on board the Lady Rose catamaran for a four-hour birthday party

Partygoers were treated for shock after Ms Abdulhussein was found. Some reported a 'weird smell' on board the ship

Partygoers were treated for shock after Ms Abdulhussein was found. Some reported a ‘weird smell’ on board the ship

Titze has pleaded guilty to unreasonably placing the safety of another person at risk, court records show, the Daily Telegraph reported.

However, he has pleaded not guilty to operating recklessly or negligently while master of the Lady Rose on February 2, 2019.

The case has been adjourned and the matter will return for a hearing at a later date. 

The investigation into Ms Abdulhussein’s death found she was likely overcome by the harmful gas before passing out and dying during the party, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The investigation also found the crew lacked urgency in dealing with the gas as guests had reported a strong ‘rotting egg’ smell four hours before Ms Abdulhussein’s body as found. 

The Lady Rose left Pyrmont at 12.30pm with the 27 party guests on board. Within half an hour of their trip passengers

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‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ House Is Back! What’s Up With This Famous Mansion Today

Remember “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the hit NBC show from the 1990s starring Will Smith as a streetwise teen from Philadelphia sent to live with his rich relatives in a gorgeous mansion in Bel-Air, CA? That iconic house has now returned to the limelight as an Airbnb rental.

Starting on Sept. 29, Los Angeles County residents will have a chance to book one of five October stays in the Fresh Prince’s wing of the mansion. And it can all be yours for the astonishingly low price of just $30 per night—a fan-friendly rate set to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the home’s TV debut.

Guests will revel in the home’s ’90s decor and amenities as well as enjoy exclusive Airbnb experience perks, including donning a new pair of Air Jordans to shoot hoops in the bedroom, dining on literal silver platters (all meals are included), and playing the home’s vinyl collection on a turntable like the one owned by show co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff.

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YOOOO!! Y’all think we should rent out the @freshprince house?? We’re making it happen with the squad at @airbnb!! #FreshPrince30th

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on Sep 13, 2020 at 6:00pm PDT

Given the world we live in today, all local COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly enforced. (The home will be scrubbed between guests, following both CDC and Airbnb enhanced cleaning protocols.) In fact, guests (two max per stay) must show proof of L.A. County residency and live in the same household to minimize potential health risks.

And to help celebrate community and support youth during this 30th year milestone, Airbnb is making a donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, which happens to also be Smith’s hometown. Isn’t that sweet?

Choose from a dozen poolside lounge chairs.


The reality behind the Fresh Prince mansion

Of course this is a made-for-TV tale, so not everything is exactly true to life, including the location of the famed estate. For one, it isn’t in Bel-Air—it’s actually located in nearby Brentwood. But “The Fresh Prince of Brentwood” doesn’t sound quite so lofty, does it?

Granted, in reality, the difference between these two tony enclaves is subtle. Bel-Air, just minutes from West Hollywood, is a smaller area with winding streets and loads of privacy. Meanwhile, Brentwood feels like a more traditional neighborhood, albeit with lovely lush yards plus easy access to top-notch schools and world-class shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Gaze at Will Smith’s way-cool kicks and lids from the king-size bed.


And if it’s celebrity residents you seek, both neighborhoods sport multimillion-dollar mansions and can point to many famous celebs as current and past residents.

“Bel-Air commands prestige: Elizabeth Taylor, Ronald Reagan, and Frank Sinatra all lived here, as have business and tech moguls like Elon Musk,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Brentwood’s residential bragging rights include Cindy Crawford, Gwyneth Paltrow,

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Dan Pearson’s Japanese forest garden offers a fresh and sensitive approach to horticulture

She writes: “When we grow perennials, we sometimes meet a moment of chaos… Chaos can be romantic in the garden, but on the other hand it can soon look tired. We enjoy the time we have had with the plants so far and then we make a bold step change at the right time for the garden.”

A reverence for the right time permeates the Millennium Garden. As part of her training, Shintani worked as a traditional gardener, where she learned “self-discipline, diligence and devotion”. This ethic underpins everything carried out at Tokachi.

Gardeners often carry out tasks silently, in awe of the mountains that dominate the landscape. There is, too, a constant awareness of every season. We are familiar with the idea that cherry blossom is celebrated in Japan, but the 72 seasonal changes recorded in the ancient Japanese calendar provide regular prompts to respect the beauty of evanescence.

Throughout the turning year, there is a phrase for each five-day shift: “The earthworms rise, The plums turn yellow, white dew on the grass.” This close observation is a constant reminder of the passing of time, of the coming of death to us all.

But each natural change is also a cause for celebration. Under the veranda of the Garden Café is a display table, an encouragement to look closely at an arrangement of whatever foliage, flowers, or produce is in season.

Pearson has brought home much of what he has absorbed from Tokachi. In his West Country base at Hillside, the land is worked only enough to support the life he shares with his partner, Huw Morgan, who acted as editorial and creative director of this beautiful book. (Commitment to the Japanese aesthetic was also shared by Julie Weiss, the book’s designer.)

Pearson says that through the experience, “we have learnt to prize the small and the fleeting”. At this time of year, pears are gathered and spaced out on a wooden table. Dahlias are picked, each in its own small vase for closer inspection.

Satoyama is practised in the garden, where a dialogue is being established with nature that aims for balance and diversity. At Hillside, repetitive tasks are celebrated, the pace of life is slower and modest undiscovered beauty waits to be revealed. The influence of Japan has been potent.

Tokachi Millennium Forest by Dan Pearson (£40, Filbert Press). Order your copy from 

How to establish a little eco-system

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UK house prices see biggest jump since 2016 to hit fresh high

Matt Cardy | Getty Images News | Getty Images

U.K. house prices saw their biggest growth since 2016 in August, climbing to a record high, according to Britain’s longest-running barometer of the property market. 

The Halifax House Price Index, which is run by analysis company IHS Markit, found that U.K. house prices grew by 5.2% in August compared to the same month last year. It marks the strongest annual growth in prices since the end of 2016. 

The price of the average U.K. house hit £245,747 ($324,241) – the first time on record that prices have surpassed £245,000. It represents month-on-month growth of 1.6% from July to August, a touch higher than the 1.5% growth forecasted by economists in a Reuters poll. 

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said the surge in property market activity had driven up house prices as coronavirus lockdown measures eased in the summer months. 

This had been “fueled by the release of pent-up demand, a strong desire amongst some buyers to move to bigger properties, and of course the temporary cut to stamp duty,” he said in a statement. 

In July, U.K. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced a holiday from property tax, known as stamp duty, on properties worth up to £500,000 in an attempt to stimulate the housing market.   

However, Galley said it was “highly unlikely that this level of price inflation will be sustained,” despite a boost from these positive factors in the short-term. 

The U.K.’s macroeconomic picture should become clearer in the next few months, he added, as the government’s economic support measures wind up and the “true scale of the impact of the pandemic on the labour market becomes apparent.” 

“Rising house prices contrast with the adverse impact of the pandemic on household earnings and with most economic commentators believing that unemployment will continue to rise, we do expect greater downward pressure on house prices in the medium-term,” Galley said. 

Defying ‘economic reality’ 

Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, said that parts of the property market were shifting from “frenetic to the frothy.”

“Two months of surging prices, in what the Halifax itself has described as a ‘mini-boom’, has powered the property market to a golden summer,” he said in a statement.

Indeed, Hopper said the data looked positive on the surface, with a growing number of homes for sale and a rebound in mortgage approvals.

In data released last week, the Bank of England said the number of mortgages approved had risen from 39,900 in June to 66,300 in July, though this was still 10% lower than the 73,700 housing loans approved in February, pre-pandemic.

Rural and coastal homes were proving particularly popular, Hopper said, with many people reassessing what they want from their home as working remotely has become the “new normal” amid the pandemic.

However, he argued that the “resulting momentum on prices is pushing the market ever more out of kilter with the wider economy” and that it could not “defy economic reality for long.”


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Invent Fresh Imaginations of Home Decor With Marble Floor Tile Patterns

Marble is one of the most traditional and classic options for interior decoration. While the item is searched for the domestic floors, then the alternatives are rare. Marble looks most elegant and attractive on several spaces of the domestic floors. If you are thinking about renovation or any fresh project, then exploring the versatile marble collection would be a prosperous idea.

How to enter?

The marble tile patterns for floor can be your friend from the beginning. Let's start designing from just behind the entry door zone of your house. Using two marble tile models for the entryway floor is on trend now. Many designers prefer to cover the center zones with specially patterned marbles like some drawings, influential designs or basketweave details. The border lines are created by another marble tile model. Here, the owners can choose a contrasting way.

Pure white Calacatta Marble, Carrara White or plain Botticino Fiorito is the better options for pattern creation. In such case, Emperador Dark or Café, Michael Angelo, and Rosa Verona are the perfect models for contrast making.

The entryway can be decorated with the simple Rosso Levanto marble tile. It has a specific patterned surface. The black base color with bright and lively strikes, veins and hues make the style very beautiful.

At the climax:

Whether you have reached into the middle path of your residence, then you have two main spaces;

Dining room – the place where outsiders spend most of the time. Therefore, space can be designed with very sophisticated and elegant ocean blue marble. The special finish lines, smooth surface with various color palate has excellent esthetic beauty. Such surfaces would save expenses on rugs, mats or other coverings.

Kitchen & Bathroom – these two spaces need action friendliness along with beautification. K&B should have some marbles tiles that provide motivation, agility, and astonishment. Rainforest is one of the most relevant and amazing options that have inspired the kitchen countertops and bathroom floors for a long time. Along with it, Inca Gold has arrived in the industry newly. The designers are considering this option for fulfilling the bright kitchen ideas. Tundra Gray, Temple Gray, and Vanilla White can be explored as well.

The finishing touches:

Bedroom floor may create the most hectic. Simplify your need is a better way to plan.

The trending bedroom floor designs have used Laurent Brown, Athens Gray, and Gary Oak. Some floors have knocked the trend with the beauty of Statuary Capri as well.

If you want simple and peaceful bedroom décor, then support that thought with Crema Marfil Antique, Arabescato Carrara or Marmara White Marbles.

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