Retail

Millennials May Well Be Beyond Bed Bath & Beyond’s Grasp

Image Credit: "Bed Bath and Beyond, West Hartford, CT 8/2014 by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube. #Bed #Bath #Beyond" by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The first-quarter earnings call for Bed Bath & Beyond is coming July 10, and investors are hoping the home goods superstore can surprise Wall Street skeptics — and the company’s own glum revenue projections — with an unexpectedly strong start to 2019. 

Bed Bath & Beyond expects to continue its earnings slide in 2019 after revenues fell from a 2017 peak of $12.3B to $12.0B last year. In 2019, revenue estimates are between $11.4B and $11.7B, with the decline blamed mostly on fewer customers walking into brick-and-mortar stores. Stock in the company has largely trended downward since peaking at roughly $78 / share in early 2015 — now it sits at about $12 / share. 

While revenues may be falling, customers’ opinions of the superstore fly high in CivicScience polling, with ‘favorable’ respondents outnumbering ‘unfavorable’ ones by nearly 4-to-1.

Nearly half of the country doesn’t have strong feelings one way or the other, leaving plenty of room for growth. 

In light of the upcoming earnings call, CivicScience took a deep dive into Bed Bath & Beyond customers in a June poll of more than 1,800 U.S. adults. 

Who Are Bed Bath & Beyond’s Customers?

First things first — women were far more likely than men to have a positive view of the home goods store.

Congeniality toward Bed Bath & Beyond is fairly consistent across age groups, with Baby Boomers leading the way. If one generation could be said to shy away from the store, it would be Millennials. They account for just 16% of those favorable to the brand, but represent nearly a quarter of those who don’t like it.

Interestingly, homeowners were only slightly more likely to view Bed Bath & Beyond favorably than renters were, and feelings were generally split pretty evenly across income brackets as well. One factor that did make a difference? The type of area the respondent lived in.

Suburbanites are Bed Bath & Beyond’s most loyal customers, representing more than half of those favorable toward the brand. Meanwhile, city residents tended to have mixed feelings about the Triple Bs, but rural residents were more common among the ‘unfavorable’ population than they were among the ‘favorable’ group. 

Bed Bath & Beyond Customers Have Their Eyes Online (and on the Economy)

People who say they don’t like Bed Bath & Beyond are 58% more likely to say they do all or almost all of their shopping online than those who are favorable. Given that the company has acknowledged declining foot traffic, perhaps a more robust online presence could help.

People who are favorable toward Bed Bath & Beyond are also about 50% more likely to say they’re “very concerned” about the impact of recent tariffs on their household expenses than those unfavorable to the brand.

However, those Bed Bath & Beyond fans are also much more likely to be bullish on the U.S. economy at large.

More Unexpected Insights About Bed Bath & Beyond Customers:

FAMILY TIME: Bed Bath & Beyond fans are 66% more likely to say they want to be around other people, and 11% less likely to say they are comfortable with being alone.

ANOTHER SCOOP, PLEASE: Bed Bath & Beyond fans are 85% more likely to say they like Haagen-Dazs ice cream than those who are unfavorable to the store.

… BUT WE’LL HAVE TO BURN OFF THOSE CALORIES: On the flip side, health and fitness activities are more important to Bed Bath & Beyond enthusiasts than they are to others.

“CRY PRETTY” (BUT NOT IN THE STORE): Fans of Bed Bath & Beyond tend to like country music superstar Carrie Underwood much more than those who are unfavorable or neutral toward the store.

It may come as no surprise that Bed Bath & Beyond’s biggest customers are female and suburban. But with support among rural Americans and Millennials — many of whom are just now entering the ‘homeowner’ phase of their lives — lagging well behind that of other demographics, new strategies could be in order to reach out to those markets.

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