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Bed Bath & Beyond web sales climb more than 20% in Q1

June 23, 2016 04:12 PM
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Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. keenly felt consumers’ ongoing shift to shop the web in the first quarter. Sales coming through digital channels—web, mobile and app—increased “in excess of 20%,” while comparable sales from stores declined in the “low single-digit” percentage range. Digital and stores combined, same-store sales fell 0.5%.

Several other big retail chains painted similar financial pictures in the quarter, including Best Buy Co. Inc., which reported a nearly 24% rise in Q1 web sales and a 0.1% decline in domestic comparable sales (which factors in web sales); and Kohl’s Corp., which said web sales grew in the “mid-teens” while comparable sales declined nearly 4%.

Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steven Temares, speaking on a call Wednesday with analysts, acknowledged the pressure on stores. “Our online digital business is growing extremely well and [at] the same on the other end of the coin we are seeing pressure placed upon the bricks-and-mortar aspect of our business.”

The retailer, No. 67 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, does not break out web sales in quarterly earnings, but on the conference call described what the retail chain has been doing to accelerate digital sales. The company, which also owns Cost Plus World Market, buybuy Baby and other stores, in Q1 rolled out usability improvements to its web and mobile sites, including improvements to product pages, checkout and baby and wedding registry services. It also relaunched the mobile apps for Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy Baby.

Bed Bath & Beyond also will open an additional fulfillment center for online orders coming through its six e-commerce sites. The 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center will be in Lewisville, Texas. Bed Bath & Beyond has 17 e-commerce fulfillment centers, according to Top500Guide.com data.

The company also is testing tools to integrate digital into stores. At a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Hyannis, Mass., the retailer is letting store shoppers “scan for more” information on a product, displaying online customer reviews and more product photos when they do. The same store also has a digital product advisor feature to help consumers find what they are looking for. “As we evolve our stores, we look to integrate additional physical and digital capabilities to create a more experiential shopping environment and showcase the products, services and solutions we offer,” Temares said.    

Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it was buying flash-sale e-retailer One Kings Lane, No. 104 in the Top 500, to build out its selection of furniture and home decor. “They are giving us really immediate credibility as we grow this business,” Temares told analysts on the call.

 

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