The slogan “Go woke, go broken” keeps giving. One of the most conservative-hating Bed Bath & Beyond is the latest victim of woke, politically active retail that is now in financial ruin due to closing down stores and mass layoffs.
CNBC reports that the retailer has announced it will shut down 150 of its namesake stores and plans to give pink slips to 20% of its workforce. This is mainly in the supply chain or corporate sector. These moves were made ahead of an investor update scheduled for Wednesday. It was apparently a desperate attempt to remain afloat.
BBB was the subject of headlines in 2021 when Mike Lindell, MyPillow CEO, confirmed that the retailer had canceled his MyPillow line. Lindell was also involved with conservative activism for former President Donald Trump, focusing on election fraud claims.
Business Insider reported the following:
Insider was informed by the retailer that Bed Bath & Beyond has severed all ties to My Pillow, a pillow manufacturing company started by Trump supporter Mike Lindell.
Lindell reported that the retailer had cut his products. He told a Fox News affiliate as well as RSBN about the stores closing down. Lindell said that the retailer’s decision was due to social media pressure from “leftist” groups.
He told RSBN that “they’re trying to cancel businesses now”.
MyPillow was no longer being sold in Bed Bath & Beyond stores. It was at that time the largest national retailer to stock Lindell’s pillow and other bed products. Lindell was able to take the decision with ease and was supported by a number of high-profile conservative influencers. This helped keep his brand alive.
It turns out that waking up and immediately alienating half of your customer base is not the best business decision. This comes at a time when brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to stay afloat due to the pandemic, and an unprecedented rise in online shopping.
After being the target of intense social media backlash including conservative-led boycotts, Bed Bath & Beyond claimed that MyPillow was canceled due to lower demand. They wanted us to believe that Lindell’s defense of Trump following the Capitol protests, questionable election results, and other incidents was just coincidental. It was there.
“As we previously announced, our assortment has been rationalized to discontinue some underperforming brands and items.” “This includes the My Pillow product range,” a spokesperson for BBB told Business Insider in January 2020. “Our decisions are data-driven and customer-informed, and they are driving substantial growth in our key destinations categories.”
The former home goods giant is now on the brink of financial collapse. It was forced to borrow $375 million through Sixth Street Partners, a lender that is friendly to retailers, in addition to closings and layoffs. Bed Bath & Beyond said that it was willing to sell an undisclosed amount of stock shares. This sent Wednesday’s share price to the gutter in premarket trading.
I love this! Bed Bath & Beyond canceled Mike Lindell and now the market is cancelling them https://t.co/Ogz3lFdO82
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 31, 2022
Ex-CEO Mark Tritton was the leader of the company’s wake phase. Joe Hartsig was the Chief Merchandising Officer.
Sue Gove, the Director & Interim Chief Economist of the company, attempted to downplay the situation by promising to “deliver what they want” in a Wednesday press release.
These changes will have a positive impact on customer experience, inventory assortment, and supply chain execution, as well as cost structure. We believe that the customer is at the heart of all our decisions. We are committed to providing what they need while driving growth, profitability, and financial returns.
Maybe focusing on business alone and staying away from politics is the first step in “delivering what they want.” Many other businesses are learning this lesson.
Although going woke was a trendy corporate move, the financial consequences are very real, as Bed Bath & Beyond quickly discovered.
Lindell will be sipping my coffee, enjoying the Karma show, and hopefully, it is.