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The secret behind Bed Bath & Beyond earnings: Finding its niche

A preview of Bed Bath & Beyond's earnings: Housing uptick helps, and online competition lurks.

Bed Bath & Beyond will release fourth-quarter earnings figures on Wednesday and analysts are expecting the company to post good results, despite stiff competiton posed by online retailers and other brick and mortar housewares stores. 

Analysts say Bed Bath & Beyond seems to have found its niche -- benefitting from the Goldilocks syndrome. Patty Edwards, retail analyst at Trutina, says, for a lot of people, a company like Crate & Barrel is too expensive, while less-pricey Target doesn't have as much selection. 

 "[At Bed Bath & Beyond] you can buy a $20 towel or you can buy a $2 towel," Edwards says, "But you can do all of that in one spot."

Edwards adds that as the housing market improves, more people are shopping for home furnishings and housewares. And the threat from online retailers isn't really affecting Bed Bath just yet.  

Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst at Forrester, says that online giants like Amazon may dominate sales of books and electronics, but they still have a lot to learn about selling housewares. Mulpuru, who was herself recently trying to buy a hanging mirror which she knew was available at Bed Bath & Beyond, decided to look online as well. 

"I couldn't find what I was looking for at all on Amazon," she says.

About the author

Noel King is a reporter for Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty desk.
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