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Bed Bath & Beyond to acquire US artisan e-retailer Of a Kind

Bed Bath and Beyond

Dive Brief:

Artisanal home goods e-retailer Of A Kind announced Monday that home goods retail giant Bed Bath & Beyond has agreed to acquire it for an undisclosed amount.

Of a Kind says it is adding staff but that otherwise few changes will be made to the site or to founders Claire Mazur’s and Erica Cerulo’s highly personal emails, newsletters, and podcasts.

Bed Bath & Beyond, which also owns brands Christmas Tree Shops, buybuy BABY, and Cost Plus World Market, in recent months has suffered a share-price slump amid tepid sales.

Dive Insight:

Bed Bath & Beyond is well known for those big blue cardboard coupons that never expire, and its sub-brands include retailers like Christmas Tree Shops filled with discount merchandise from China and other overseas manufacturing centers.

So this acquisition of an indie e-retailer that has taken care to feature artisanal work of independent American designers is quite a pivot, and one that could help BB&B change its fortunes.

This is the kind of affiliation usually expected from a retailer like Target, which has innovated and now established a tradition of partnering with independent designers with an artisanal feel (including a recent partnership with Of a Kind itself). But Target’s affiliations for the most part have been temporary and in some cases even fleeting. Here BB&B is taking over the brand completely.

Of course, that will certainly worry Of a Kind’s fans, which may be understandably nervous about how a corporate retailer might change the smaller company’s approach. But if BB&B can maintain Of a Kind’s authenticity, it could be a boon to its designers and its customers alike.

Source : Daphne Howland - Retail Dive

17 August 2015

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