Many families continue to visit Bed Bath & Beyond and its Buybuy Baby brands “to find solutions for life’s special moments,” Gove added. “We have operated for more than 50 years, and we are determined to deliver for the long-term benefit of our stakeholders.“
But the Union, New Jersey-based retailer’s disappearance from so many registries illustrates the toll that the company’s recent financial strategy has taken on its core business. A worsening cash crunch has forced executives to come up with creative ways to drum up new financing.
In February, they launched a complex deal with hedge fund Hudson Bay Capital Management to raise as much as $1 billion. When that flopped in less than two months, Bed Bath & Beyond then launched a $300 million share sale—despite a plummeting stock price.
Bed Bath & Beyond needs those funds to pay its lenders. But the quick succession of complicated financial deals has kept executives and managers busy and made it difficult to focus on the day-to-day task of running stores.
Meanwhile, competitors have seized on the opportunity. Babylist Inc., which has an online baby registry, is planning to open its first physical store in June—in part to compete against Buybuy Baby.
Amazon.com Inc., Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. are among the biggest players in baby registries, Babylist CEO Natalie Gordon said in an interview. Buybuy Baby is the largest national specialty retailer, followed by her own company, she said. Babylist declined to say whether there have been any shifts in Buybuy Baby items registered on its site.
Zola, which also has its own online store for wedding items, has seen an uptick in sales of cookware, kitchen appliances and bedding in recent months as consumer reticence toward Bed Bath & Beyond grows.
While talk of the retailer’s bankruptcy “is very unfortunate, it has meant positive growth for Zola,” Shan-Lyn Ma, the co-founder and co-CEO of the company, said in a statement. “Couples trust Zola.”