Bed Bath & Beyond shoppers in New York City were “devastated” the home goods retailer filed for bankruptcy Sunday – and flocked to its Chelsea outpost to stock up on merch before its anticipated closure.
Many customers at the retailer’s shop on Sixth Avenue bemoaned the blow to brick and mortar shopping — as the company will be shuttering its 360 Bed Bath & Beyond and 120 Buy Buy BABY stores following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in New Jersey federal court.
“I’m devastated,” Steven Bonamassa, 41, told The Post, adding he was looking to “hoard and stock up” on whatever he can from the store before it shuts down.
Bonamassa, a creative director who lives in Chelsea and shops at the store regularly, bemoaned the loss of the once-popular retailer, suggesting that amid the flurry of closures of physical stores in the US, online shopping could soon be the sole option.
“It’s really a shame because … where are you supposed to find your bedding? Where are you supposed to find all these things?
“What are children of our next generation going to do? Like it’s Amazon. That’s it,” he said.
Along with reporting for bankruptcy, the company noted that customers will have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to use their remaining 20%-off coupons at their stores.
John Bloomfield, a 69-year-old private piano instructor, was one of the shoppers trying to take advantage of the short window, rushing to the Chelsea store after his gift card failed to work online.
“I’ve got a gift card from a student and I thought because they filed for bankruptcy, I’d better use it,” he said.
Fellow shopper Eileen Robert, a real estate broker and artist who lives in Chelsea, said the store was her “go to for a long time” — but she wasn’t surprised that it was closing.
“I’ve spent an awful lot of money here, but it’s not very user friendly,” she said of Bed Bath & Beyond. “And they don’t have a lot of merchandise here, and they haven’t for a long time.”
She recalled a recent frustrating encounter at the store where she wanted to buy a tea kettle but was informed by staff that all 20 of their stock was sold out and that they wouldn’t be ordering any more despite the item’s apparent popularity.
“That was a big clue they don’t seem to know what they’re doing” Robert said. “It’s not good management.”
Another customer at the Chelsea store, a 55-year-old actress and former ballerina who declined to give her name, told The Post that she would miss Bed Bath’s generous 25% off events on Black Friday, which was an annual shopping ritual for her.
“It’s really depressing that this is changing,” the Upper West Side resident said. “I will miss it if they go, but I think they’ll be back. I don’t think they’re going to fully go.”
She added she hopes Bed Bath sticks around because “I don’t like to shop online.”
“I like to see it. I like to feel it. I want to feel the texture, if it’s cheaply made,” she said. “When you buy stuff online, I mean, it can come broken. It can not be what you thought. And it’s a pain in the ass to send it back.”
The home goods retailer – which shot to popularity in the 1990s as a go-to shopping destination for couples making wedding registries and planning for new babies – has seen demand drop off in recent years as its merchandising strategy to sell more store-branded products flopped.
Last year’s moves to abandon that strategy, and to bring in more national brands that shoppers recognize, had not shown signs of working, with the company reporting a loss of about $393 million after sales plunged 33% for the quarter ending Nov. 26.
In January, the company raised doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern just months after it announced more than $500 million in new financing, as well as job cuts and 150 store closures.