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Will a new rewards program prove Bed Bath & Beyond’s critics wrong?

Bed Bath & Beyond continues to have a lot of doubters on Wall Street, even as the chain’s management continues to roll out new private lines and programs intended to drive sales and profits.

Analysts at Bank of America, MarketWatch reports, have conducted store checks and discovered that the retailer is turning down the air conditioning at its locations in an effort to cut costs in the face of lagging comps. It has also reduced store hours, opening some locations at 11:00 a.m. rather than 10:00. Associate hours have also been cut and store remodels have been postponed or canceled.

Bank of America has also raised concerns about Bed Bath & Beyond’s financial footing.

“In FY23, we expect Bed Bath & Beyond will burn another $300 million of cash and pay down its $300 million 3.749% notes due August 2024. This will leave Bed Bath & Beyond with total liquidity of roughly $439 million by the end of FY23. Assuming another $300 million of cash burn in FY24, this would imply $139 million of liquidity by the end of FY24,” according to the Bank of America note.

Bed Bath & Beyond has pressed on despite its naysayers. The retailer yesterday unveiled Welcome Rewards, a new loyalty program that allows customers to acquire and redeem points across its namesake banner as well as the buybuy Baby and Harmon chains.

“More than 80 percent of our customers shared that they would be excited for a program that would allow them to earn rewards across all of our banners,” Rafeh Masood, EVP and chief customer officer at Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., said in a statement.

The new rewards program has three tiers, including a subscription option.

For a $29 annual fee, Welcome Rewards+ customers receive 15 percent off their total purchases and earn additional dollars based on purchases. Members also receive free standard shipping for all online orders, and four times a year they are able to take advantage of same-day delivery at no charge. Customers signing up by July 31 will get $10 in points for doing so.

The retailer’s new program doesn’t signal the end of its coupons. Welcome Rewards+ members may choose to use a 20 percent coupon off a single item in their cart and then get 15 percent off all the other products they purchase.


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