Generally, companies aren’t interested in taking on the name of a competitor (or any other company) that has gone out of business amidst a well-publicized bankruptcy. The executives at Overstock.com seem to have no such concern.
The company has bought Bed Bath & Beyond’s intellectual property for $21.5 million and has announced that it will use the name of its home goods store competitor, which is currently having going-out-of-business sales throughout the country, on its website and mobile app. It’s likely even taking its 20% off coupons and eventually its wedding registry.
Why Overstock.com may completely rebrand itself
The changes are planned to begin in August, once the last of the Bed Bath and Beyond stores are closed. Overstock.com’s CEO says the company hasn’t ruled out changing the name of the business, which operates solely online, to Bed Bath & Beyond entirely to get away from its branding that portrays it as a “liquidator.”
As consumers have gradually moved to online purchasing, those retailers without a lot of capital invested in real estate have thrived. That, at least in part, explains the differing trajectories of these two companies in recent years. Overstock.com’s CEO says that the company saw “the opportunity to purchase what we like without purchasing what gave us pause before.”
Overstock also purchased Bed Bath & Beyond’s customer data, which will give it a chance to market directly to a new customer base. It’s factored in the money it will need to spend to inform consumers of the changes.
When a company stops doing business (with or without filing for bankruptcy), don’t assume that its IP is just up for grabs. If you’re interested in it, it’s crucial to find out what you need to do to seek it. Having legal guidance is key.