“Store Closed” signs at the Buy Buy Baby store in the Brooklyn borough of New York, on Monday, February 3. 6, 2023.
Stephanie Keith | bloomberg | Getty Images
bed bath behind CNBC canceled Friday’s auction of its Buy Buy Baby chain because it failed to secure a buyer willing to keep its stores running — but it’s not quite over for the children’s retailer just yet, CNBC has learned.
Bidders withdrew from the auction after deciding the chain was no longer worth buying because its value had deteriorated so much, but there are parties still interested in its origins, according to two people close to the matter who were not authorized to discuss it. publicly.
While it would be unusual, Bed Bath & Beyond could still accept a Buy Buy Baby offer early next week. The chain’s fate won’t be finally decided until Tuesday, when a court hearing is scheduled to approve the sale of the Buy Buy Buy Baby intellectual property to Dream on Me Industries. The company, a little-known New Jersey-based retailer and former Buy Buy Baby supplier, has agreed to buy its brand and digital assets for $15.5 million if no higher bids emerge.
Once considered the crown jewel of the now-failing Bed Bath & Beyond empire, the children’s chain has been in the midst of liquidation sales at 120 stores since its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection on April 23.
As the auction process went on and the inventory of Buy Buy Buy Baby dwindled, so did its value. Nearly three months after sales ended, one person said, there was little left to bid on besides brand intellectual property.
This person said, “Most of the value was in the IP, especially at this point in the process. One can imagine that three months ago, when stores were fully operational and running and running, that might not have been the case.”
Over the past several weeks, Bed Bath & Beyond had repeatedly pushed through the bankruptcy auction process and split Buy Buy Baby until it could secure higher bids and find a company that was willing to keep the stores running.
I scheduled an auction of just Buy Buy Baby’s intellectual property last week and declared Dream on Me the winner.
Bed Bath & Beyond has scheduled a separate auction for Friday where buyers can bid on the chain as a going concern, and has indicated that the Dream on Me bid can be redeemed if they receive a higher sale price.
A company spokesperson said in a statement that it canceled the auction late Thursday when those bids did not materialize.
CNBC previously reported that Go Global Retail, a brand investment firm represented by Ankura Capital Advisors, was interested in keeping about 75% of its Buy Buy Buy Baby stores in operation, and had previously sought additional capital of Rs. $50 million to support her bid. The company is already in the children’s business and currently owns the children’s clothing company Janie and Jack. He declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.
If the auction goes ahead, bids likely wouldn’t be much higher than the $15.5 million that Dream on Me bid for the chain’s intellectual property because the only other assets left were its employees, empty stores, leases, and any remaining inventory. Source.
Any company that wants to take over will likely have to close stores for a couple of months until they can restock and get them back up and running.
Last month, Overstock.com won the auction of Bed Bath & Beyond’s intellectual property and digital assets at a price of $21.5 million. She decided to change the name of her website to Bedbathandbeyond.com.
It’s not clear what Dream on Me plans to do with Buy Buy Baby if it ends up being the eventual victor. The company did not respond to requests for more information from CNBC.