Happy Monday! [DOT 24/4/23]

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had book club (didn’t read the book) and my car failed its emissions test. #funtimes! I was supposed to go ziplining but a big thunderstorm forced us to reschedule that one. What’s the James Bond movie? Die Another Day? That’s me!


What a tool

Republican Graham loses cool over abortion after supreme court pill ruling
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/23/republican-lindsey-graham-loses-cool-abortion-supreme-court-pill-ruling


LULZ

Twitter restores ‘blue tick’ free of charge to celebrities in U-turn
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/apr/23/twitter-restores-blue-tick-free-of-charge-to-celebrities-in-u-turn


Stonks

Bed Bath & Beyond files for bankruptcy protection after failed turnaround efforts
https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/23/bed-bath-beyond-files-for-bankruptcy-protection.html


Sprots!


Today in Cuteness:


Have a great day!

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24 Comments

    • It was truly a bizarre business model. The constant coupons meant you could always get any item in the store at 20% off. Why not lower prices by 20%?

      They also had a membership program that let you buy pretty much anything at steep discounts, and as much as you wanted. My wife signed up for it when we were outfitting the kid for college and it worked great. But as soon as she was all set, we just dropped the membership. If there was something in particular we needed, just take the 20% coupon over there.

      I never did understand what they were trying to accomplish, and I’ve worked in marketing all my life.

      • I freelanced at a company where one fine day one of the employees sent out a mass email (not really mass, maybe 40 people, but that was 3 1/2 departments; small company) offering some BB&B coupons to whoever wanted them.

        That was nice of her. But that caused a domino effect, because it seems everyone in the office, except for me, had some spare BB&B coupons lying around, so not a day would go by when someone wasn’t mass emailing that they had just gotten another batch in if anyone wanted them.

        After about two weeks of this, the beleaguered office manager mass emailed and said, basically, “We will have no more mass emails about BB&B coupons. If you want to give them away, I put a basket by the front desk. Just put them there.”

        It was fabulous. It was like old photos of Weimar Germany where people are pushing around wheelbarrows full of insanely depreciated Reichsmarks. After about two weeks of this the office manager, who was an avid BB&B shopper herself, just nixed the whole plan and told everyone to keep their BB&B coupons at home.

        • I have to wonder if there are still thousands of those coupons winding through the US mail system. Will we keep seeing them for months? Back when I used to work in the campus post office, the rule was that bulk mail could sit at any stop along the route for up to 10 days before it was required to be moved on. It could take weeks or months to work its way across the country.

      • It sounds like they also got clobbered by private equity ghouls, similar to Toys R Us.

        https://www.npr.org/2023/04/24/1152070914/bed-bath-the-great-beyond-how-the-home-goods-giant-went-bankrupt

        The “activists” who are actually big capital companies forced out the old CEO, installed a Target exec who slashed stores and employees, dumped a lot of cheap generics on the shelves, and wiped out almost all of their cash reserves with a billion dollar stock buyback.

        Realistically they needed to shrink, but the vulture capitalists just decided to use realism as a smokescreen for stripmining.

        • This is exactly right. BB&B’s business model was definitely scuffling, but their management and shareholders are the ones that bankrupted them, not consumer indifference. Pretty sure a billion dollars could have kept the company afloat for a little while longer and/or given them time to reorganize. But that’s not profitable enough, I suppose.

    • Everything was priced with those coupons factored in. Except when it wasn’t.

      As a short term gimmick, coupons can bring in some customers, but when they become a permanent complication to shopping, they drive people away. Nobody wants to have to look up a bunch of terms and conditions and then run a calculator just to buy some dish towels.

    • I’m so confused about what they were supposed to be doing with the crayons. Was there a scavenger hunt? Coloring book?

      Relatedly, must be nice to be on field trips in England because when I was a kid, they watched us like a hawk to make sure they didn’t lose a kid nor have any of us get into trouble.

  1. Bed, Bath, and Beyond’s business model is also completely undermined by Amazon.

    For years it was like hey you know I want to see a bunch of options for curtains, more than what like Target carries. I can go to the JCPenney home store*, an actual interior decor store (wait no I can’t afford that), or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

    Now I can go to Amazon, read reviews, and order from a gazillion options of curtains.

    *Rest in peace JCPenney home store, you were a standalone store across the street from the mall and had only home goods. You were a joy to shop in.

    • We used to shop there a lot because we have a JC Penney card.

      Story: Years ago my wife lost her job and we were in dire financial straits. I called the credit card companies to explain and ask for extensions or reductions. That’s what you were “supposed” to do.

      I was treated like the worst criminal imaginable by most of my card companies, and I hadn’t even missed a payment yet. I was ranted at by some who threatened to send me to collections (and I stress I hadn’t missed a payment yet). It was horrible.

      Except for two. American Express and JC Penney. They were polite, respectful, and presented me with various options for repayment. From that era in my life, I still have only two credit cards: American Express and JC Penney. I paid the rest and canceled them. I know JCP probably isn’t long for this world; doesn’t matter what happens, I am with them to the end. I’ll just buy stuff from JCP because I want to support them.

      Not coincidentally, the companies that were the most nasty are out of business now.

      • …first credit card I had was as a student…& I paid it off in full every month for a year or so…during which someone I knew with the same card/bank & a tendency to spend money they didn’t have…sometimes twice over…had their credit limit extended several times…while mine hadn’t moved

        …then I missed a payment…just forgot & paid about a week late…& my credit limit went up to double what it had been

        …took me a moment to cotton on to why that wasn’t counter-intuitive…if you’re a credit card company

        …still got the thing…for emergencies or big purchases that don’t have good warranties…but with lockdowns & such hadn’t used it in a year or two…so the other week they told me they were going to close my account…& charged me for the privilege of telling them I’d rather retain it…gotta love those business principles from responsible institutions around consumer debt

      • Yeah losing JCPenney is going to hurt. I haven’t shopped there really in years because their clothing quality went to shit, but for most of my life that was my favorite department store.

    • Fox moves fast when it wants to.

      I bet we’re going to see the floodgates open about all kinds of stuff lots of insiders knew in the background but somehow never went public. Who knows if it’s sex or money or dirty politics, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s on a scale of Jeff Zucker’s “secret” which a million people knew.

      • I saw an interview with the whistleblower from Fox’s lawyer on Friday.  He said she has tons of recordings of Tucker & others making all kinds of comments that have the interest of the DOJ & many many other investigations.  I think she also has a lawsuit pending against Fox & I bet this Tucker firing is to try to get ahead of some of these investigations and the settlements that WILL be coming soon.

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