[CNN] Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys ‘R’ Us and RadioShack all shut down for the same reason

Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys ‘R’ Us and RadioShack all shut down for the same reason


See I’ll argue this.

BB&B died because they DID NOT go online, they resisted for years, and then when they did, it was too late.

TRU Went online too early and FAILED, then contracted to Amazon to handle it, then lost all control.

RS I think was too early for online. RS business model relied on the service contracts and then selling internet, then selling cell phones, then sat tv. They never quite knew what their business model was! Could they have survived? YEP, and I point directly at Microcenter. They survived and are still here. Their online presence was somewhat haphazard but always showed real time stock in store, and then evolved to have reserve and pickup in store, and online ship to home.

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BBB actually had us fill a fair amount of E-comm orders for them over the past 5 years or so. (Homegoods category.) They ran into significant financial issues with extended store closings during COVID - and based on the size of their DC orders in 2021-2022, it was pretty evident the foot traffic never returned.

The BBB bankruptcy was no surprise to any of their vendors, since they’ve been screwing people over on payments since mid-2022 at least.

So you’re also saying online retail killed them, just not because they were b&m “category killer” stores but because they were only b&m?

Gotta pay for those 20% coupons somehow, they weren’t doing it with markup, we all knew that!

Correct. They resisted going online for a LONG TIME, I think they started taking it seriously in 2020, WAY TOO LATE

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If anyone out there is looking to stock up on some BBB branded merch, just found out big lots will be taking a few $100k worth from us later in the year.

These closeout guys (i.e. Big lots, ollie’s, dollar general, etc.) are going to make a killing over the next couple years.


The author is trying to lump together things that aren’t the same and actually didn’t die the same deaths.

RadioShack was a go to for DIY enthusiasts to build radios, CBs, misc electronics parts, computers and then dropped all that stuff to morph into what Pepper described. Once they were no longer the place to go to get “hard to find” parts for enthusiasts they no longer really had a purpose that wasn’t already being fulfilled by other stores. They kept the name but completely ditched the category that they did well in.

Toys R US only had great prices for Christmas and relied on having the “it toy”. The rest of the time they were more expensive than at other retailers. The demise of Black Friday anticipation (sales “leaked” early and now starting well before Thanksgiving) drove a nail in their coffin.

BBB just had the same junk as everywhere else, at “high” prices and the need to use the 20% coupon.


Honestly, BBB was overwhelming to me. The store wasn’t as large as a Walmart, as the article said, but it was crammed and stacked with so much that it was hard to find anything.

If all I need is an oven mitt, then I’m getting it from Target or Kroger, which I’m going to anyway, and which might only have 4 options but all are adequate.

So I can see how being a “category killer” actually killed the category.

But there were certainly many factors involved in all 3 stores’ demises, which the author rightly noted didn’t affect (or hasn’t yet?) Home Depot, Lowe’s, ■■■■’s, and Best Buy (and MicroCenter as @Pepper_Thine_Angus mentioned).


D ! X Sporting Goods :rofl:

BB&B’s B&M stores reeked of potpourri and were not tolerable for many people to shop in. Their business model had been “stuff people are too stupid to google” for a decade+


Again “category killer” isn’t what a Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, etc is despite trying to put them in that because they are larger chain stores.
They aren’t selling just hardware like Toy R US was just toys or BBB was “home goods” and certainly not “discounted”.
They are the General Store of old just bigger.

  • Have both contractors/“pros” and DIYers shopping in their stores.
  • Carry lumber (you “can” buy that online but unless you want to haul back a bunch to return you pick through in person) and other building materials (concrete, pavers, doors, windows) that delivery from an Amazon or similar would be ludicrous
  • Design and buy a whole kitchen (cabinets, appliances, countertops, sink, etc), bathroom, closet organization, etc. Again “pro” and DIY.
  • Lawn and garden

I guess if the “category” is broadly “anything you might need for your house” OK, but that is a BIG category and going that big would mean any “department store” was also a “category killer”.

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You joke, but I vaguely remember a post on the OSFE about some seller “inadvertently” shipping bags of concrete to an Amazon FC… :man_shrugging:

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Yeah, the “bird baths” or was it something for reptiles? :rofl:

Toys R Us killed itself.

Online was part of the problem, but not the reason for their demise.

They got off mission of selling toys and tried to survive selling credit cards, buyer protection plans, and other ancillary services.

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Bed Bath & Beyond has a Sue Grove problem. If we are to believe Forbes…

Since peaking at nearly $81 a share in January 2014, BBBY stock has lost almost all of its value — trading under 7 cents a share on April 24.

While BBBY withstood competition from Amazon, its ultimate demise was due to a self-imposed disaster. In 2019, activist investors won control of its board and hired a CEO who heedlessly forced the private-label strategy he devised for Target on BBBY customers.

No longer finding the goods they expected on BBBY’s shelves, customers bought them elsewhere. That sent sales down and left banks and suppliers in the lurch.

An idiot running things has the same result every time. Just ask Sears, K-Mart, Twitter, or Bed Bath & Beyond. You simply can’t overcome terminal stupidity.


Online was not their only problem. But it was a problem before Sue was a problem

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I know what BBB and TRU had in common.

Mike Madden and Sue Gove - 2 people that drove my division of Nature’s Bounty into the ground very quickly.

Mike worked for TRU and Sue the current CEO of BBB.

Mike passed a couple years ago of Brain Cancer. RIP. Decent guy but he was living in the past business-wise.

Sue was / is a certified ■■■■■■■. In my first meeting with her she told me I needed to be “re-trained”. HAHAHA. Nice to meet ya too. We were at our highest EBITDA, under my leadership as the VP of Merchandising and Marketing from 2010-2014 in the businesses 40 year history. She also single handedly destroyed Golf Smith and did a lot of damage to Zales during their rough patch.

Pretty sure I’m not the one that needed the retraining.

In every meeting and speech, she would start pretty much every sentence with “You Know”.

We would go behind her back and say “No, Sue, we don’t know”…

You Know, You know, You know. Made us sick… EVERYONE hated her, even the pro-women in business women of the company. When you suck, you suck, and it doesn’t matter what’s in your underpants. LOL

Oddly enough, a guy named Steve Pappas was the business lead of 2 divisions of Nature’s Bounty. He was a big guy at Radio Shack so Nature’s Bounty has an awesome track record of hiring real winners to lead their business units.


A lot of these businesses didn’t transition well into seeing peoples shopping habits change.

When someone needs something, they pretty much need it asap same day etc. Sure I can buy a piece of plumbing on Amazon for cheaper but I have to wait a day or two, when I need water now then off to Home Depot I go.

When someone wants something they are willing to wait…especially if they know it will go on sale. Home Depot sells a lot of Needs, the grocery store sells a lot of Needs. Stores like bbb and tru, they sell wants.

Now if someone sells both needs and wants, you’ve got the best of both worlds. This is why target and Walmart invested so heavily into groceries 10 or so years ago. Now people are going into these stores for things they need they might as well grab the things they want while they are there.

Investing into what your consumer wants I think is how these stores have grown so successful. Target has an amazing return policy, especially on their own house brands. Back when I got married in the early 2000s bbb was the place you registered at. When I had my first two kids tru was where you registered at. By the time my third kid showed up Target had become the it place to register both for weddings and babies.

Bbb and tru couldn’t figure out how to bring people back to their stores after people left for target/amazon. I tried a few times to go to tru but their rewards program kept changing so frequently and their prices so high compared to target or amazon that it was just pointless. I ended up accidentally not using a $40 gift card I had at tru because everything I looked at was cheaper somewhere else. Like this was free money that I still couldn’t even be bothered to go back into your store to spend because your store was just such a nightmare to deal with. Same with the stack of expired coupons I threw away sometime last year with bbb. Anything I wanted to buy never qualified for the coupon and I could get something cheaper somewhere else if it did. Once a consumer already has it in their mind that your store is a waste of time, you have to do something drastic to get them back in. Honestly I don’t know if there was anything tru or bbb could have done to get me back into their stores. It was just easier and cheaper to go to Target. Stores that sell Wants and not Needs are not going to last.

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BBBY failed because it was not able to be a true shopping destination. It like Kohl’s relied upon a relatively small cadre of loyal customers who came each week to use their 20% off coupon or other deals.

It was poor at having adequate stock for their advertised specials.

It was absolutely abysmal at selecting which inventory should be each store.

It did go online, but most of their online orders were for name brand items which were out of stock in the store, and placed from the store.

When they could not compete with the pricing from other online merchants and maintain their coupons, they went the private label route, which did not please the couponers and did not draw other customers.

Other posters comments about TRU were on the mark, and as time progressed they could not afford to keep the shelves full.

AS for Radio Shack, they were never a category killer. They were the survivors of the Tandy empire, stocking heavily their own private label “Realistic” which was highly uneven in quality. They probably peaked in the time of their PC - the “Trash-80” which appealed to a very unsophisticated buyer.

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