Bed Bath & Beyond CEO says reducing coupons was 'too severe'

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The CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond is speaking out on the company's choice to reduce its coupons.

In 2020, the home goods retailer first scaled back on its popular blue and white mailers, which offered 20% off to its customers. Several businesses have had to alter their policies in response to the pandemic. 

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 Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton discussed how the company’s strategy towards coupons last year was “too severe” of an action. (iStock)

During a recent earnings call, Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton discussed how the company adjusted its coupon strategy during COVID-19. Due to various issues, fewer coupons and circulars were distributed.

According to Tritton, this wasn’t the best decision.

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According to Tritton, several factors contributed to the reduced distribution of coupons, including supply chain issues and labor shortages. (iStock)

When asked about how the company plans to rebalance its coupon strategy going forward, Tritton said, "We just took too severe action…So I think what we want to do is just rebalance that equation. Coupon is a great tool for customer engagement and traffic. It's not a drug, it's an opportunity. We just need to manage it better. And so we kind of need to create the balance in that. So still committed to coupon as a strategic advantage in our business."

According to Tritton, issues with the supply chain and the labor force caused problems with procuring enough paper. Print vendors were also impacted due to the labor shortage.

These problems prevented the company from achieving full scale circulation in October as previously planned.

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"Timely delivery of these circulars by a vendor was also an issue that prevented a return to start levels of circular distribution, and further impacted our ability to drive traffic and generate sales," Tritton explained. "Yet, amid somewhat normalized conditions, we converted traffic and met demand successfully both in-store and online. For example, we delivered a high single digit sales comp in the U.S. over the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period, underscoring Bed Bath & Beyond as a top destination for customers."

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