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In the midst of all of the BuyBuy Baby liquidation sales, the store may have a future after all.
Baby goods supplier Dream on Me Industries has purchased all of BuyBuy Baby’s intellectual property for $15.5 million (including the BuyBuy Baby brand name and website) as of July 11, which makes them the new BuyBuy Baby buyer. They also won the bid for 11 store leases at a recent bankruptcy auction.
So — is BuyBuy Baby saved? What would the store look like if it gets rescued from closure? What will happen next? We’ll tell you what we know (and what history has taught us about these kinds of things).
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An unknown potential buyer wants to keep about 75% of BuyBuy Baby stores open.
Although one of the BuyBuy Baby bidders is undisclosed, CNBC says they’re an “independent operator with several successful, complimentary retail chains in their portfolio”. The buyer could be the one mentioned in the Reuters report, Go Global Retail.
As of the announcement that all stores would be closing, BuyBuy Baby operated 122 stores in 37 states. If the unknown bidder’s commitment to keeping “about 75%” of stores open holds, that means around 90 stores would remain.
Now, how exactly that would work — since all of the BuyBuy Baby stores are currently liquidating by the end of June — remains to be seen. Like, how would they set up shop again after selling everything (including things like store fixtures)?
Babylist attempted to bid on BuyBuy Baby’s trademark and domain — but they weren’t successful.
Babylist is a free service that helps parents-to-be create a registry, add items from any store, and track their progress. It also offers advice from experts and a community forum for connecting with other parents.
Although Babylist is opening their first-ever showroom in the L.A. area in the summer of 2023, they didn’t appear to have any plans to reopen BuyBuy Baby stores or use those brick-and-mortar locations for anything.
The Babylist CEO told CNBC that if their bid is successful, they would focus on using BuyBuy Baby’s trademark and website to point people to Babylist. Basically, anyone searching for BuyBuy Baby would end up at their site. (But they wouldn’t absorb BuyBuy Baby’s existing registry listings, because the company believes those registries would likely be stale.)
Nobody’s looking to rescue Bed Bath & Beyond, though.
Although Bed Bath & Beyond is on its way out, the company is also up for sale. They’ve delayed a final bankruptcy auction a few times, holding out hope that they’ll sell BB&B or the BuyBuy Baby stores as standalone businesses.
There’s interest in the currently-liquidating Bed Bath & Beyond stores from online retailer Overstock.com, but the CNBC report shares that some bidders are interested in the digital/e-commerce parts of the business.
If a deal isn’t reached, BuyBuy Baby will be sold via auction on June 28.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. was going to auction all of its assets (including BuyBuy Baby) all at once, but now that there’s some interest in buying BuyBuy Baby separately, they’ve given the sister company its own auction date.
While Overstock.com’s reported $21.5 million offer for Bed Bath & Beyond will start the bidding on June 21 for that company, BuyBuy Baby’s auction date has been bumped for a third time to June 28 — giving the company some breathing room to ink a deal with a buyer.
But… if no deal is reached, BuyBuy Baby assets will be sold via auction on June 28 — reportedly for a lot more than the $21.5 million offer for its parent company.
Babies”R”Us is opening in former BuyBuy Baby storefronts in Canada.
Babies”R”Us — which used to be a sister chain of Toys”R”Us — went bankrupt back in 2018, and although several companies wanted to buy them during the bankruptcy proceedings, ultimately all stores shut down and the business was liquidated. But they never fully went away.
The brand’s current owner is WHP Global, a licensing and brand management firm, and in January 2023 they announced plans to open a flagship Babies”R”Us store at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The company also plans to open additional Babies R Us stores in the future, and the Babies”R”Us website promises a new experience “coming soon”.
Across the border, Babies”R”Us (and Toys”R”Us, for that matter) have been busy filling storefronts that were occupied by Bed Bath & Beyond and BuyBuy Baby. In the summer of 2023, Canada will see nine new Toys”R”Us stores, and two new Babies’R’Us stores.