dbest products - New Associations - Inside Overstock’s grand plan to reinvent itself as Bed Bath & Beyond

dbest products - New Associations - Inside Overstock’s grand plan to reinvent itself as Bed Bath & Beyond

Manny GonzalezJul 17, '23

New associations

Despite its widespread network of stores and its customer familiarity, Bed Bath & Beyond struggled to pay vendors toward the end. New merchandising strategies, private label launches and leadership shake-ups failed to turn it around, and total liabilities hitting $2.1 billion at its last earnings before it filed for Chapter 11. Its new iteration will have to ensure a fresh start for any vendors — but Johnson is adamant that the Overstock team will do that, including heading out to more trade shows to actively solicit brands.

“We’re going to continue to have a presence where we’ve been and expand into shows that make sense for us as Bed Bath and Beyond,” Johnson said.

Getting new suppliers will mean onboarding them into the Overstock system. Johnson said vendors didn’t have positive associations with Overstock.com, as the name implied that its wares were some sort of leftovers. But the interface to load SKUs and get sales data won’t have any immediate changes.

“That’s the part of our business model that’s really worked well,” Johnson said.

The Overstock name will likely sunset by the fourth quarter, and eventually the company will be renamed too, Johnson said.

But whether the name change is enough to generate the experience and sales that vendors want remains to be seen. Two vendors told Modern Retail that it could be more work to get their products listed on the Overstock site than they would generate in sales.

One of them, Richard Elden, is the founder at Dbest products Inc. that makes wheeled carts found on major platforms like Amazon, Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot. He sold via Bed Bath & Beyond for about 15 years, but stopped doing business with the company about nine months before the brand’s bankruptcy.

“Once we started seeing financial cracks, we decided it would be better to ship our products to someone we knew was going to pay for it. So we didn’t get burned for that reason,” he said.

He was also resistant to selling through Overstock. The volume wasn’t necessarily there to justify having them as a partner, and the name was confusing.

“Overstock doesn’t really mean anything except a buyer of excess inventory which is not really who they are today,” he said. “Now they’re a general merchandise retailer but their name doesn’t say that.”

Under the new name and a new operating structure that could generate significant volume, Elden might reconsider listing with the new Bed Bath & Beyond e-commerce operation. 

“We would do some research and ask the right questions and determine and evaluate whether the opportunity was worth our time and effort,” he said.