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Lessons to Learn from Bed Bath & Beyond Bankruptcy

Bed Bath & Beyond's recent bankruptcy filing and store closings are sadly nothing new and a lesson for others to take note of to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.

Organizations that struggle to keep up with changing customer needs and expectations will lose to competitors who move to digitally transform their organizations by changing their culture, mindsets, behaviors, and approaches to how they work, learn, and operate will remain competitive.

Among their downfalls, they didn't digitally transform Bed Bath & Beyond, remained focused on its in-store experience, and failed to understand the changing digital landscape. Although they experienced a boost in the pandemic, they couldn't capitalize on the opportunity quickly test and learn new ways to sustain and create growth.

Why? The culture and strategy were stuck in the past, unable to shift with the changing digital world. What was working at one point in time for them was no longer a viable approach to the rapid pace of consumer expectations and needs, industry dynamics with new competitors and partners, and especially from the expanding use of data and technology enabling digitization of the products, services, and experiences.

Retailers such as Target and Walmart grabbed market share from Bed Bath & Beyond. They both shifted to a Digital First Strategy and began to transform. Then there is Wayfair and Amazon, always going to be a threat that Bed Bath & Beyond did not recognize as one or know how to prevent from taking their consumers.

Bed Bath & Beyond's bankruptcy filing serves as a warning not just to retailers but all organizations: the only way to survive in this rapidly changing digital world is to remain agile and responsive to consumer expectations and needs, Industry dynamics of new competitors, and partners.

As we look to the future, it's clear that companies must be willing to embrace digital transformation, shifting their mindsets and behaviors to become more dynamic and adaptive in new ways of working, in the way that they learn, and in every aspect of how they operate their organizations to stay competitive. That's how they accelerate discovering and delivering customer and business value enabled by digital technology achieving their outcomes.

Companies that take these steps will be the ones that will come out on top, while those that fail to do so will find themselves quickly left behind. It's a lesson that Bed Bath & Beyond, and all companies, should pay attention to.