The emotional effect of hearing your local Bed Bath & Beyond stores are closing

CJ Coombs
A Bed Bath & Beyond location that closed in 2021 in Massachusetts.Photo byAnthony92931, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

It's not new news. Retail businesses continue to close. It does become, however, an emotional reflection of when it was your favorite retailer. Maybe there's some personal history with these stores. You had to get a last-minute wedding gift or towels were on sale.

There are many stores closing in 2023. You have some associated with bankruptcies. Some are cutting their costs. Although I had not been to Bed Bath & Beyond (BB&B) in a while, I was chiefly going there for a wedding shower or holiday gifts. Also, it was a reflection to hear the company was closing in Kansas City. There used to be a total of 1,500 stores. Were you like me and had a stack of 20% off coupons on your kitchen counter? It was also handy if you could use it with Buybuy Baby. They eventually stopped mailing those out.

According to Insider, there are 416 stores penciled to close. Stores in Canada will all permanently close. The plan is to have 360 stores plus 120 of the BB&B-owned Buybuy Baby stores at the close of the year. While a bit pricey, I more than liked Buybuy Baby. The last time I was in one was when a baby bed and nursery rocker were being purchased. I think this store reached its boutiquey-type store goal, but when shoppers are looking for the best price a store can offer, they might find the same product at Target for less, or maybe even at Walmart.

The Buybuy Baby stores were founded by brothers, Richard and Jeffrey Feinstein in 1996. They are also the sons of co-founder, Leonard Feinstein, of Bed Bath & Beyond. When Bed Bath & Beyond acquired Buybuy Baby in 2007, back then its chief competitor was Babies “R” Us until it closed locations due to bankruptcy in 2018.

When the megastore Buybuy Baby opened in Independence near Interstate 70, it was new and fun and shoppers couldn’t get there fast enough. There are two other locations in Missouri: Ballwin and St. Louis.

BB&B has had its share of competition too: Target, Williams Sonoma, Walmart, JCPenney, HomeGoods, and IKEA.

In the past couple of days, it was reported in order to save cash and avoid bankruptcy BB&B was foregoing paying severance to employees as it had done with past store closures. That had been reported by Crain's New York Business and Bloomberg News. A problem with that decision could result in employees quitting before the closing of their store location actually occurs.

It's been reported the following Kansas City area locations of BB&B are closing:

  • Kansas City, Barrywoods Crossing
  • Independence, The Pavilions at Harman Heritage
  • Lee's Summit, Summitwoods Crossing by Chipman Road

According to Discontinued News, there's no time frame for the Buybuy Baby store closures yet and not all of them are closing. Maybe the Independence location will be spared.

The retail industry has had customers shift away from physical stores toward more online shopping. The closures of stores also have a ripple effect on local economies, as many of these locations rely on retail businesses for some economic stability. It also means that thousands of employees will be out of work, with no guarantee of finding new jobs in their field.

Share any thoughts in the comments below, or share this on social media so more people can join in the conversation. Thanks for reading!

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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