Bed Bath & Beyond Offers ‘College from Home’ Retail
Virtual learning is providing opportunity for retailers, as a new offering from Bed Bath & Beyond demonstrates.
The chain has launched College from Home, described as a shopping experience dedicated to helping parents and college students redesign their childhood bedrooms as remote learning spaces for the fall semester.
The retailer and its sister brand Decorist — an online interior-design service — will provide expert tips for creating remote learning spaces with the new College from Home website section. Students and parents can use College from Home to access curated product assortments. The launch of the service comes as many colleges and universities opt for virtual learning this fall — a situation that could stretch into the spring semester — leaving students without dorm residences.
"As the college destination for countless students across the country, whether studying at home or on campus, we know this fall won't bring the typical college experience every student looks forward to," said Joe Hartsig, EVP and chief merchandising officer of Union, New Jersey-based Bed Bath & Beyond. "College from Home brings the dorm experience to life for students by showcasing essential product solutions, paired with design inspiration to turn their childhood bedrooms and work spaces into functional spaces for remote learning."
This new program from Bed Bath & Beyond also reflects a larger trend with the ongoing — and unique — back-to-school shopping season in 2020.
A new survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) forecast increased spending on electronics and furniture. According to ICSC, back-to-school shoppers will spend an average of $1,053 on related items, up approximately $200 from last year.
The New York-based trade group also said that only 26% of respondents indicated school would resume with regular instruction. Twenty-eight percent will resume schooling in an online-only format — an especially popular pursuit in the South (30%) and West (40%). As a result, shoppers indicated strong demand for electronics (59%) and home furnishings (45%) to accommodate changes, in addition to standard school supplies and clothing.
All of those findings play in favor of the new online retail offering from Bed Bath & Beyond. To build back-to-college sales, the College from Home tool offers style quizzes and the chance to collaborate with a Decorist designer before any purchases. Students and parents can also take advantage of the retailer’s newly introduced two-hour Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store (BOPIS) and contactless Curbside Pickup services. Additionally, customers can sign up for the College Savings Pass and receive 20% off their entire purchase.