Bed Bath & Beyond Debuts Affordable Private-Label Line From Harlem To Hawaii

With a Bed Bath & Beyond on 125th Street, Bed Bath & Beyond has always been identified by shoppers as a value retailer with good prices.

It has never had its own cross-category brand at an opening price point, similar to what many of its competitors use to drive their basics business.

…gives the company a cohesive branding story to promote to its customers.

That changes today with the retailer’s introduction of Simply Essential, a 1,200-SKU private-label program that cuts across all of its key merchandise classifications and gives the company a cohesive branding story to promote to its customers.

Simply Essential’s debut in stores and online this week comes as part of a massive remerchandising of the venerable big-box retailer, which had fallen on hard times but is in the midst of a reinvention.

Earlier this year, Bed Bath & Beyond introduced the first two of what it calls “owned brands,” labels developed and sourced internally and exclusive to the company: Nestwell, a bed and bath collection with a natural, feel-good positioning, and Haven, a Zen-inspired bath program.

These will be joined by five more by the end of the retailer’s fiscal year in early 2022; by the time the entire program is fully up to speed in 2024, the company expects the owned brands to account for one-third of its overall sales, or about $3 billion a year.

“Customers are looking for value-priced, hardworking, everyday items without sacrificing design or performance,”

Simply Essential represents the most extensive of any of the retailer’s planned rollouts, Joe Hartsig, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, tells Business of Home. “Customers are looking for value-priced, hardworking, everyday items without sacrificing design or performance,” he says, noting the focus on its largest product categories: bed, bath, kitchen and dining, and storage and organization.

“we need to compete against mass and online, and that had been the gap in our pricing architecture.”

As much as the company has historically been focused on value, “we didn’t have enough at opening price points,” says Hartsig. While the focus had previously been on specialty retail competitors at better and best price points, “we need to compete against mass and online, and that had been the gap in our pricing architecture.”

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Simply Essential stretches from $1 serving spoons to $5 pillows and $7 frying pans. Some items are bundled, like 12-piece cooking set for $35, ideal for the back-to-campus business that is a key demographic for the retailer.

Hartsig says other consumers, like those with their first living arrangements and those on tight budgets, will be targeted as well.

Most items are under $50 and all come in under $200. And in a nod to a mainstay of the Bed Bath & Beyond shopper, all of the items in the line can be purchased using the retailer’s ubiquitous coupons, giving them even more value.

The new program is debuting in stores with a special display near entrances and is then sold in individual departments, or “rooms,” as the retailer now refers to them.

The line also has its own landing page on the company’s e-commerce site reports Business Of Home.

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