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Some Bed Bath and Beyond customers hate the store’s decluttered redesign and pared back inventory. Here’s what it’s like to shop there.

Bed Bath & Beyond wanted to prevent overpacked shelves

REUTERS/Emily Elconin

  • Bed Bath and Beyond is updating stores to be less cluttered.
  • A store in Rochester, New York had less varied merchandise and looked more organized than in the past.
  • Customers flocked to the more disorganized clearance aisle. 

Bed Bath and Beyond is a massive home goods store that customers rely on for everything from wedding registries to dorm room decor.Bed Bath and Beyond entryway

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The chain got a huge boost early in the pandemic as homebound Americans focused on home improvement.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: Insider

In March 2020, Bed Bath and Beyond implemented “the biggest change in its product assortment in a generation.”Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: WSJ

New CEO Mark Tritton made it his mission to reduce inventory and declutter stores.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: WSJ

Selling too many varieties of a single item leads to “purchase paralysis,” Tritton told The Wall Street Journal.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: WSJ

The chain planned to spend up to $400 million on store remodels and other upgrades, including wider aisles to better show off the merchandise the chain chose to stock.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: WSJ

The plan also included minimizing and organizing merchandise so items were no longer stacked up to the ceiling.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The location I visited in Rochester, New York wasn’t as pared down as images of the flagship New York City store.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Still, the gigantic store appeared more organized, with a smaller inventory than my previous visits over the years.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Most shelves were stocked, but the variety of merchandise seemed less varied.Bed Bath and Beyond dishes

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

For example, there were just two types of air fryers on display, but the display itself was still massive and extended nearly to the ceiling.Bed Bath and Beyond air fryers

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The air fryers were an exception, though, and most displays I saw no longer extend so high up.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The entire store felt a bit more open, with more space between aisles and displays.Bed Bath and Beyond dining

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The location was mostly well stocked during my visit, but I did notice some empty shelves.Bed Bath and Beyond empty shelves

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Minimizing inventory and launching private-label brands contributed to some of the chain’s supply chain challenges, The Wall Street Journal reported.Bed Bath and Beyond aisles

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: WSJ

That became a pain point for the chain over the holiday season, when its top 200 bestselling items were in short supply, leading to a loss of $100 million in sales.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Source: WSJ

Empty shelves seemed mostly to be limited to home items, not appliances.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The empty shelves were a bit jarring in contrast to how organized the rest of the store was.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The small clearance section near the checkout counters was the messiest area of the store.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

It was also the busiest area, showing that at least some customers may not mind the disarray the store was once known for.Bed Bath and Beyond humidifiers

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

The checkout looked the same as always, with a messy selection of chargers, knickknacks and other seemingly random items near the register.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

This location also didn’t have the self checkouts the chain plans to add, just the same snack assortments and registers.Bed Bath and Beyond

Mary Meisenzahl/Insider

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at [email protected]

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