Fresh off a major summer comeback, Bed Bath & Beyond ebed xecs say they are doubling down on e-commerce and decor for homebound holiday shoppers

bed bath & beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond is winning with shoppers stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis spoke with Business Insider about the company’s stellar summer sales, as well as its plans for winning during the holiday season.
  • Davis said the brand’s strategy includes a $29 annual loyalty program, enhanced e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment services, and earlier-than-ever holiday offerings.
  • The Bed Bath & Beyond executive said the company plans to remain “close to the customer” to continue to glean insights on consumer trends for the holidays.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bed Bath & Beyond pulled off a major back-to-school sales coup this summer, despite many colleges across the United States going remote due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the retailer is looking to apply those lessons to its holiday strategy, according to its Chief Brand Officer Cindy Davis. Back-to-school and holiday shopping are the biggest traffic drivers for the brand. 

Davis credited the company’s positive second-quarter sales — which soared above analysts’ estimates, according to — with Bed Bath & Beyond’s ability to “pivot” to better suit customers’ needs during the pandemic. The company saw  89% digital sales growth compared to the same time period last year, although this was partially offset by a 12% decline in comparable-store sales.

“We had a plan in place for second quarter that was really different for us,” Davis said. “It was customer-inspired, data-driven, and really focused on our omnichannel services. It was a fully integrated plan and it really helped us deliver on Q2.”

The result was two million new customers flocking to Bed Bath & Beyond’s website.

Davis said that those new shoppers tended to be six years younger on average than the company’s existing customers. While

‘We are doubling down on our cloud-kitchen brands’

While the nationwide lockdown hit India’s eating-out segment, forcing several casual dining outlets to shut shop, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, which runs the popular Social and Smoke House Deli, was quick to pivot to home deliveries, and is now set to launch its first covid-ready outlet. Riyaaz Amlani, CEO and managing director, Impresario, is certain that diners will come back to celebrate milestone occasions and to socialize, but admits that the next few months will be tricky. Edited excerpts from an interview:

With several states allowing restaurants to resume operations and serve liquor, how are dine-in sales shaping up?

Tier-2 towns have been really great in the bounce back. In the first month, business was at about 50%. It’s still early days, we still have to go through that 2-3-month period where we will have to normalize dining out again. Chandigarh started off with 50%, Delhi started off with 30-35%, Bengaluru was at 25-30%. Each day, each week, we’re seeing these numbers climbing up slowly and surely. For Smoke House, we have seen a greater comeback in some markets.

Impresario has opened two new Social outlets with partitions. Is that the future of eating out?

I don’t know if this is going to be like this forever. Yes, for the foreseeable future, people will be careful. I think for a very long time people are going to come into spaces to enjoy the vibe, but to be among people that they trust and know. This kind of creative partitions is a fun way of making sure that people have a good time. We just launched Dwarka Social (Delhi), Elante Social in Chandigarh and we have one more coming up in Thane.

Will you expand in these times of uncertainty?

We will be creating more stores, it is not like we are