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Loyal Bed Bath & Beyond NYC customers 'devastated' after bankruptcy filing


April 23, 2023 | 15:42

Bed Bath & Beyond shoppers in New York City were “devastated” by the home goods retailer filed for bankruptcy Sunday โ€” and flocked to the Chelsea outpost to stock up on merchandise before its expected closing.

Many customers at the retailer’s Sixth Avenue store lamented the blow to brick-and-mortar โ€” as the company will close its 360 Bed Bath & Beyond and 120 Buy Buy BABY stores after its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in New Jersey federal court.

“I’m devastated,” Steven Bonamassa, 41, told The Post, adding that he was looking to “hoard and stock up” on everything he can from the store before it closes.

Bonamassa, a creative director who lives in Chelsea and regularly shops at the store, lamented the loss of the once-popular retailer and suggested that amid the flurry of brick-and-mortar store closures in the US, online shopping may soon be the only option.

“It’s a real shame because … where are you going to find your bedding? Where are you going to find all these things?

“What are kids in our next generation going to do? Like it’s Amazon. It is,” he said.

Along with filing for bankruptcy, the company noted that customers will have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to use their remaining 20% โ€‹โ€‹off coupons in their stores.

John Bloomfield, a 69-year-old private piano instructor, was one of the shoppers trying to take advantage of the short window, rushing to the Chelsea store after his gift card didn’t work online.

“I have a gift card from a student and I thought since they filed for bankruptcy, I better use it,” he said.

John Bloomfield looks for bargains at Bed Bath and Beyond on Sunday.
John Roca
The retailer’s Sixth Avenue outpost, in Chelsea, will be among the 360 โ€‹โ€‹closing.
John Roca

Fellow buyer Eileen Robert, a real estate agent and artist who lives in Chelsea, said the store was her “go-to for a long time” โ€” but she wasn’t surprised it was closing.

“I’ve spent a lot of money here, but it’s not very user-friendly,” she said of Bed Bath & Beyond. “And they don’t have a lot of merchandise here, and they haven’t for a long time.”

She recalled a recent frustrating encounter at the store where she wanted to buy a tea kettle but was told by staff that all 20 of their stock were sold out and that they would not be ordering any more despite the item’s apparent popularity.

“That was a big clue that they don’t seem to know what they’re doing,” said Robert. “That’s not good management.”

Customers watched the Chelsea store on Sunday amid the bankruptcy filing.
John Roca
The once-popular retailer was a favorite for homewares, but it has since fallen on hard times.

Another customer at the Chelsea store, a 55-year-old actress and former ballerina who declined to give her name, told The Post she would miss Bed Bath’s generous 25% off Black Friday, which was an annual shopping ritual for her.

“It’s really depressing that this is changing,” the Upper West Side resident said. “I’ll miss it if they go, but I think they’ll come back. I don’t think they’ll go completely.”

She added that she hopes Bed Bath stays around because “I don’t like shopping online.”

“I like to see it. I like to feel it. I want to feel the texture, if it’s cheaply made,” she said. “When you buy things online, I mean, it can break. It may not be what you thought. And it’s hard to send it back.โ€

The home goods retailer โ€” which became popular in the 1990s as a shopping destination for couples making wedding registries and planning for new babies โ€” has seen that demand is decreasing in recent years as its merchandising strategy to sell more store-brand products flopped.

Last year’s move to abandon that strategy and bring in more national brands that shoppers recognize had shown no signs of working, and the company reported a loss of about $393 million after sales fell 33% for the quarter that ended on November 26.

In January, the company expressed doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern just months after it announced more than $500 million in new financing, as well as job cuts and 150 store closings.

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