Bed Bath firms shipping regulations

Union, NJ — Tightening up on its shipping regulation, Bed Bath & Beyond recently sent its vendors a letter clarifying its Vendor Compliance Guide.

Mentioning "chargebacks" eight times, the letter, dated June 25, emphasized that "chargebacks are a means to offset our expenses for non-compliance and to encourage future compliance. They are not designed to generate revenue."

Bed Bath's policy allows for a grace period of 13 days after and six days before the ship date, for a total window of 20 calendar days for an order to be shipped "in a 'compliant' manner." Future shipments made outside this window or not at all will be issued a chargeback, the letter said, ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent of the costs of goods in violation, based upon the number of days that a shipment is tendered to the carrier before or after the ship date.

The retailing giant will charge for the portion of the order in violation. For example, if 95 percent of an order is shipped on time, only the 5 percent not shipped on time or at all will be subject to a charge. It also stressed that "under no circumstances" should a vendor opt not to ship at all in order to avoid a lateness charge, because the charge for failing to ship will be equal or greater than the late shipping charge.

The letter also discussed cancel dates, and the retailer wants the vendor to ship as close as possible to the ship date and not after the cancel date, unless authorized by the buyer. If the order does not have a cancel date, the order is active unless canceled by Bed Bath, and it is subject to chargebacks.

Regarding backorders, the letter stated that items on the purchase order that will not be sent with the initial shipment should still be shipped and that the vendor should consider the order active.

The letter also emphasized that both vendors and Bed Bath & Beyond's Procurement Company, the retailer's buying office in Farmingdale, NY, has a common objective: "to make sure that our mutual customer, the Store, is able to best serve their customers by receiving their orders when they are expected."

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