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Overstock CEO wants to distance company from "taint" of Bed Bath & Beyond

As rechristens itself as Bed Bath & Beyond in a bid to strengthen sales, executives at the company want to distance the new brand from its namesake's failures, CEO Jonathan Johnson said in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch. 

After purchasing Bed Bath & Beyond's domain and other assets at a bankruptcy auction in June, Overstock plans to relaunch the U.S. version its website under Bed Bath & Beyond's banner in "late July or early August," according to Johnson. The "revamped" website will debut alongside an updated mobile app and loyalty program. 

"We didn't want any confusion about what's going to be our lovely site versus the garage-sale store that's going on at [Bed Bath & Beyond] stores right now," Johnson said. "I don't want that taint on us." 

The company's executives began eying an acquisition of Bed Bath & Beyond's brand three years ago, citing similarities between the businesses' customer bases. "We loved the brand, hated the business model," Johnson said. "Like all the [other] brick-and-mortars, their digital game was there, but it was not A-plus."

Overstock's leaders were also entertaining the idea of a rebrand amid concerns that their own business model was "weighed down by a brand that doesn't say who we are," Johnson said. 

Bed Bath & Beyond going out of business after bankruptcy filing 01:53

Not a liquidator 

"We're a home furnishing and furniture company, and it sounds like we're a liquidator, and that's been a headwind for consumers and…for [our] suppliers," he added.

The acquisition could boost Overstock's sagging sales. The company's stock has risen roughly 45% since it won Bed Bath & Beyond's assets on June 22. 

Overstock's purchase does not include Bed Bath & Beyond's remaining brick-and-mortar locations. Those stores will close this summer, a development Johnson said he welcomes. 

"There's stuff on the floor [and there are] like hotel bins of things," he said. "There [are] not even great deals."

The new Bed Bath & Beyond will also be less reliant on coupons, Johnson said, a change for many of the chain's loyal customers.

"Our coupons don't need to be as big because our base prices are already sharper than Bed Bath & Beyond's were," said Johnson, who promised good bargains on the revamped website.

Beyond wedding registries 

The company's executives also plan to revive the college and wedding registries that once helped Bed Bath & Beyond attract a loyal following.

"We're self-aware enough to know that one is going to put on their wedding invitation, 'registered at Overstock,'" Johnson quipped. "But we'll build the wedding registry so that people can be registered at Bed Bath and Beyond."

Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy in April after years of sagging sales.  

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