Home Keynote: Beyond’s Lemonis, Holt Detail Strategy Built on Strong Vendor Relationships
March 19, 2024

Keynote: Beyond’s Lemonis, Holt Detail Strategy Built on Strong Vendor Relationships

By: Rachel Clark

Contributing Editor

Marcus Lemonis, executive chairman of Beyond, Inc, and Chandra Holt, the new CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond, in the closing keynote session at The Inspired Home Show 2024 today, offered a candid look at the company’s bold strategic plans and how they hope to partner with home and housewares suppliers for mutual success.

Lemonis, also CEO of Camping World and known for his business savvy and advice on television and media, joined Beyond last November.

Holt joined Beyond last month. She was most recently CEO and president of Conn’s HomePlus, having also held leadership roles at Walmart.com, Sam’s Club, Walgreens and Target Corp.

“We’ve recalibrated the company to include everything inside the four corners of the property and the four walls of the house,” Lemonis told attendees. “The business needed a focus, and it needed a deliberate focus, that explained to both the consumer…and the vendors, most importantly, how that business would interact going forward.”

Lemonis (pictured above during The Inspired Home Show keynote) acknowledged his arrival at the company was “unconventional,” adding he felt strongly he could take the company in a better direction. He also shared his interest was partially sentimental because he had fond memories of weekly trips to Bed Bath & Beyond with his adoptive mother while growing up.

Beyond will consist of a portfolio of e-commerce sites targeted to different consumers at different stages of their lives, Holt said during the keynote presentation. The sites will work collectively to drive repeat visits and purchases, and currently consists of two tiers, she said.

The first tier consists of mainstream brands, such as Bed Bath & Beyond; and several new retail brands in the works: Baby & Beyond, Kids & Beyond, College Living, Backyard.com and Wamsutta. The second tier consists of off-price brands Overstock and Zulily. (Beyond recently acquired Zulily, and the company will be re-launching Overstock.com in less than two weeks, Lemonis said.)

Lemonis added Beyond also is looking to get into the high-end merchandising space, by possibly acquiring or launching its own luxury and/or tabletop e-commerce site.

“We’re trying to really own the home — own those four corners, and we’re going to do that by appealing to various customer segments and providing them with an unmatched value proposition across all the different segments,” Holt said. She added the company believes customers’ needs at different stages of their lives are “better met with specialized experiences.”

Chandra Holt during The Inspired Home Show keynote

Holt explained while each site will feature broad assortments, the company’s merchants would “curate the depth” to help customers understand they’re getting high-quality products. Items will be competitively priced, and yes, the coupons —  a stalwart of the original Bed Bath & Beyond operation before its bankruptcy — and rewards will be part of how the company’s provide loyal customers with extra value the more they shop.

Holt said winning partner strategies will revolve around assortments that are new, on trend, geared toward life moments and competitively priced. Direct relationships with suppliers and content are also key parts of the Beyond e-commerce equation.

“I can’t tell you how important content is,” Holt said. “In e-commerce, content is king,” because it drives traffic to sites, helps to convert traffic to customers and helps cut down on returns, she emphasized.

The relaunch of Overstock.com will allow the company to renew a true off-price destination, allowing additional opportunities for customers and suppliers (along with the acquisition of Zulily).

Is additional expansion coming from Beyond in the weeks and months to come? “We’re always looking at where there’s unmet customer demand and where we can provide value that’s not out there,” Holt said.

Recognizing suppliers have many questions about Beyond’s new direction, Lemonis took time to discuss the importance of vendor relationships and how Beyond’s leadership will work to build trust with suppliers. He said fostering such vendor relations was one of the main reasons he was at the Inspired Home Show. “If the relationship with the vendors isn’t healthy, and you’re not providing pathways to profitability….then you have destroyed that relationship,” Lemonis said.

A video recording of the program will be posted on the show’s website at www.theinspiredhomeshow.com/education/#keynotes.

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