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  • Jennifer Marks

Playing for Keeps

Nobody goes after the college-bound student with more gusto

Does Bed Bath & Beyond own the back-to-college business? Some of its rivals would argue the point – Macy’s chief among them. But there’s no question that BBB is the most aggressive in going after the college-bound student and her mom. It’s also the first out of the gate in promoting the season.

As chronicled on this page last month, Bed Bath & Beyond set its first Campus & Beyond merchandiser around Memorial Day – at a point when most college students returning home for summer break had barely finished unpacking.

Just before the July 4th holiday, it had already stepped up its game. The Campus & Beyond sheet merchandiser in the Eatontown, N.J. store was outfitted with a video depicting a mother and daughter working their way through a BBB store, list in hand, to fully furnish a dorm room. A store associate informs them about the retailer’s campus pick-up option. “That is awesome,” says the mother. “I am so not looking forward to stuffing all of her things into the Prius.”

It should be noted the screen was placed atop shelving for Wamsutta DreamZone — the most expensive set in the sheet assortment dedicated to back-to-college.

 

A pop of pop art. BTC bedding merchandised with canvas wall art from The Art of Stephen Fishwick. In addition to Marilyn Monroe, A pop of pop art.
A pop of pop art. A pop of pop art. Bob Marley,prints merchandised in a box nearby include Albert Einstein and Audrey Hepburn.
Tell me about it. The in-store video featuring a mother and her daughter H&TT shopping BBB for college dorm merchandise puts the spotlight on Mom. Also known as “the one with the wallet.” Tell me about it.

 

Nearby, three beds — the most prominently positioned in the department — were dressed for BTC. In addition to the usual extras (toss pillows and window panels) each display featured a bold piece of printed canvas wall art from The Art of Stephen Fishwick. Individual panels were available in a box by one of the beds and priced at $39.99.

In bedding, BBB was pumping 4-piece and 6-piece quilt sets under the Studio 3B label, as well as a reversible comforter set branded Anthology (sounds an awful lot like Anthropology, doesn’t it?) and the lone male-oriented pattern, a plaid from Nautica.

But back to that video. The coup de grace was the moment the mother turned to the camera and said: “I am so looking forward decorating a room the way I want to.” Said room, of course, being the one currently occupied by her daughter.

That’s classic Bed Bath & Beyond — never miss the opportunity to suggest an add-on sale.

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