Amazon's and Walmart's technology and scale advantage may have lured some customers away from Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY), but they didn't kill the big box retailer. Instead, it died from within, from its leadership's strategic mistakes.

BBBY failed to keep up with other retailers in addressing emerging retail trends, as has been the case with JCPenney and Sears in the last decade.

"Failure to pivot to market changes is what killed Bed, Bath & Beyond," Michael Allmond, Co-Founder and Vice President at Midwest retailer Lover's Lane, told International Business Times. "One of the major shifts retailers like Target, Walmart, and our company has taken on has been the development of private label products. We invested much money in developing these products after seeing how successful Costco has been with its Kirkland line. "

Allmond argues that this strategy helped the company expand its presence on Amazon and grow in a challenging business environment. "Companies that have done this have been able to weather the storm, while companies like Bed, Bath & Beyond have not," he added.

Ray Wimer, Professor of Retail Practice at Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, agrees, providing further insight on how other U.S retailers rode the private label trend to cut prices to consumers and improve their bottom line.

"U.S retailers started to move more heavily into developing their private labels in 2015," he told International Business Times. "Developing your private label allows you to create a brand around it and control the production costs. This allows a retailer to sell the item at a lower cost than a national brand while at the same time making a better margin on the item. As a result, it helps consumers save money, and the retailer makes money."

Wimer points to Target, which began developing its private-label merchandise for several product categories, including bath and kitchen items in 2016.

"BBBY only responded and started releasing private label items in August 2021," he said. "Consumer habits changed during the pandemic as they could still visit a Target store (Walmart, too) and buy anything they needed, including items purchased previously at BBBY at lower prices. Inflation coming out of the pandemic led consumers to continue these habits."

Berna G. Barshay of HFGEnterprises/@HedgeFund adds the 20% in-store coupons to the company's strategic mistakes list as it cannibalizes its online business.

"Those coupons were beloved and led to much success in the brick-and-mortar world, but it hurt them online," she told IBT. "Because they priced merchandise to account for the fact that consumers might use coupons, they left their everyday pricing high and not promotional. That way, the out-of-the-door price - using that 20% coupon - would still be profitable for them.

"When Amazon,, and others started advertising everyday low pricing on the web, Bed Bath Beyond didn't look competitive in Google product searches, even if their price would have been in line or even lower with the application of the 20% off coupon."

Barshay points to another strategic BBBY mistake, accelerated by its aggressive stock buyback program in 2020 and 2022. "As a result, they shortened their runway for executing a successful turnaround by several years," he explained. "Would the turnaround have eventually worked? No one knows -- my guess is no. But they would have had a shot at seeing."

James Gellert, CEO of RapidRatings, isn't surprised by Bed Bath & Beyond's bankruptcy filing. "We first noticed signs of financial decline for BBBY as early as 2018," he said. "Today, the company is rated at just 25 out of 100, firmly in our High-Risk zone where more than 90% of companies fail."

Dr. Tenpao Lee, professor emeritus of economics at Niagara University, believes that BBBY is a victim of technological change in the retail sector, which made its model obsolete. But he, too, blames the company's leadership for failing to develop a suitable business model to capitalize on new technologies.

"For BBBY, the evolving e-commerce has made the company lose its customers since the early 2000s," he said. "Unfortunately, BBBY failed to adjust its business model and not restructure its merchandise and inventory strategies. As a result, BBBY filed bankruptcy and became another victim of the new economy."