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(April 2019 update: After years of unfounded rumors, Bed Bath & Beyond now acknowledges it really is starting to cut back on coupons. Click here to read the latest.)

“Will Bed, Bath & Beyond ditch coupons?” one headline asked last year. Well, no, they won’t. “Bed Bath And Beyond May Ditch 20% Off Coupons!” another story warned. Actually, no, they never said that. “A Eulogy for the Bed Bath & Beyond 20% Off Coupon,” a third headline declared.

Come on. Stop. Please.

We’ve dispelled this “fake news” before, but Bed Bath & Beyond itself has stubbornly refused to publicly weigh in on the issue. The company has offered vague statements about the value it sees in offering coupons, but always stopped short of refuting the rumors, when all it would take is a simple statement to stop them.

Until now. “We are not getting rid of the coupon,” CEO Steven Temares said flatly this week.

There. Happy now?

“The coupon is important,” he went on. “It’s the value that we give to our customers.”

It’s the clearest comment about the future of coupons that the company has offered yet. Before now, it kind of complained about them, which only fueled the rumors.

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Falling profits? Declining sales figures? All due to “an increase in coupon expense resulting from increases in redemptions and the average coupon amount,” the company has repeated like a broken record in reports to investors each quarter. That led Temeres to ruminate on the impact of coupons last year. Coupons have “always been an important part of our value proposition,” he said. “But at the same time, we’re committed as an organization to smarter, more intelligent marketing, personalized, targeted, being more meaningful and being more efficient and optimizing that over time as well.”

Comments like that made coupon-loving customers shudder. But this week, Temeres made clear that creating more personalized offers, and blanketing the world with those 20% off coupons, is not an either-or proposition.

“As we have always said, we want to get to being more specific with the customer, understanding what drives their shopping pattern and what’s the value to them and make sure we are speaking to them and that the value that we offer to them makes sense other than a general coupon,” he said. But that doesn’t mean the company plans to eliminate its famous coupon, because “we understand how important it is and the value of it is.”

One way Bed Bath & Beyond has been trying to boost business is with its new “Beyond+” membership program. That, too, caused some concern upon its initial test last year. For $29 a year, shoppers who sign up for the program get free shipping for online orders, and 20% off their entire purchase every time they shop in store or online. That had some worried the company was planning to phase out coupons in favor of getting everyone to sign up for Beyond+.

But many shoppers have questioned the value of the program. Why pay $29 a year to get 20% off, when you can look in your mailbox or your junk drawer to find a coupon that offers the same thing? And free shipping isn’t a huge draw, especially since Bed Bath & Beyond lowered its free-shipping threshold for all shoppers to $29.

So you can shell out $29 to get free shipping and 20% off each time you shop, or you can just buy $29 worth of stuff with a coupon to get free shipping and 20% off. Which sounds like the better deal?

Still, the company is pleased with the Beyond+ test so far, so much that it’s planning to expand it. “It’s still early, but everything so far has been favorable and we will be expanding the test later this week,” Temeres said.

So you can spend $29 a year for 20% off, or just continue to use those 20% off coupons that the company now says are not going away. Your choice.

But why hasn’t the company offered a clearer statement about coupons before now? Perhaps they’ve been sitting back and enjoying the fact that people were talking about them. Or hoping that coupon-bearing customers would come rushing to the store to use their coupons before it was too late.

As they say, no publicity is bad publicity. And for a company that’s been struggling lately, headlines about “The End of Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons” are better than no headlines at all.

4 Comments

  1. Virgie Dawson says:

    I have sign up coupons on my email and I never get any [email protected] need one today

  2. Julie nguyen says:

    Please send the coupon to my email so o able to shop today . Thanks

  3. Julie nguyen says:

    I don’t receive any email coupons from your company, but I need one to shop today. Can you send to my email soon as you can ? My email is: [email protected]

  4. Carol Vyhonsky says:

    Well, I believe the CEO lied. I’ve stopped getting the Bed Bath & Beyond coupons.

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