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Dive Brief:

  • Replacing its Beyond+ membership program, Bed Bath & Beyond on Thursday launched a new tier-based loyalty program, dubbed Welcome Rewards, as well as a buy now, pay later option.
  • The program applies to purchases made both in stores and online across the company’s Bed Bath & Beyond, BuyBuy Baby and Harmon banners, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
  • Welcome Pay — a buy now, pay later option — allows customers to pay for purchases in four payments. The company said the program doesn’t have any fees or interest attached to the installment payments, and customers can manage payments across the retailer’s apps and websites.

Dive Insight:

To offer benefits and perks to its customers, Bed Bath & Beyond has launched a new tier-based loyalty program.

The first tier, Welcome Rewards, is free to join and offers members 10 points for every dollar spent and free shipping for the first seven days after joining. After that period, those members can receive free shipping on orders of $39 or more. The second tier, Welcome Rewards+, effectively replaces the retailer’s existing Beyond+ program. Welcome Rewards+, which has an annual membership fee of $29, offers 15% off purchases and free shipping on all orders, among other perks. The third tier is for Welcome Rewards credit card holders and offers a one-year membership to Welcome Rewards+ for free, 15% off purchases and free shipping.

The new program replaces Beyond+, which launched in 2017 for its Bed Bath & Beyond banner and offered members perks like free shipping and 20% off purchases for an annual fee of $29. Existing members can transfer their memberships to Welcome Rewards+ or remain with Beyond+ until their membership expires.

“Our new Welcome Rewards program allows our customers to get even greater value, benefits and perks whenever and wherever they shop with us,” Rafeh Masood, executive vice president and chief customer officer, said in a statement. “More than 80% of our customers shared that they would be excited for a program that would allow them to earn rewards across all of our banners.”

Through the program, Bed Bath & Beyond is also jumping on the buy now, pay later boom. Apple earlier this month launched Apple Pay Later, allowing customers to split purchases into four equal payments over six weeks, with no interest or fees. According to an Experian Global Insights report, 57% of respondents said buy now, pay later services could replace their credit cards, while 80% of U.S. consumers said they use installment payments to avoid credit card debt. Buy now, pay later is expected to be the fastest growing e-commerce payment method through 2025, according to a report released earlier this year from Fidelity National Information Services.

For Bed Bath & Beyond, the new loyalty program, touting discounts and flexible payment options, is an attempt to attract — and retain — customers during a period of weaker demand in the home category. The company, like other retailers in the sector, experienced a boost at the onset of the pandemic as consumers were actively seeking out ways to upgrade their homes. But as the economy opened up and consumers felt more comfortable leaving their homes, spending shifted to other areas. 

Bed Bath & Beyond reported net sales last year fell nearly 15% from the prior year, while its net loss widened by over 270%. The company suffered about $175 million in lost sales during its fourth quarter as a result of out-of-stocks at its Bed Bath & Beyond banner. As a way to cut costs, the retailer is reportedly reducing store hours and turning down the air conditioning in stores, according to a MarketWatch report citing a Bank of America note. Bed Bath & Beyond did not immediately respond to questions around its cost-saving measures.

And now, with consumers grappling with rising gas prices, inflation and other economic uncertainty, discretionary spending is taking an even bigger hit. 

According to a Numerator report from earlier this month, 50% of consumers are seeking out coupons and promotions, while 66% of households are cutting back on nonessential spending. And a separate Numerator report from April found that spending in the home improvement category was down 14% year over year, while store visits to home improvement retailers fell 21% from the prior year.


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