Times have been tough during the past couple of weeks for the housewares business. Tupperware Brands Co.'s financial problems have been near the top of the news ever since the Orlando, Fla.-based company announced April 7 that the business "might not survive."
On April 23, another U.S. housewares icon — the retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond — entered bankruptcy with an intention to close all of its stores.
Neither move took industry watchers by surprise. Tupperware has been struggling to convince consumers to pay more for its higher-quality plastic storage for years. And Bed, Bath & Beyond has been closing stores, trimming inventory and swapping out recognizable name brands in favor of its own lines of products to stay afloat, but the retailer hasn't turned a profit since 2017.
In a column for Bloomberg.com, Leticia Miranda writes that Bed Bath & Beyond's status wasn't a surprise, saying it "squandered its position as one of America's best-known home goods chains with a sluggish response to online shopping. It was left in the dust as competitors snapped up sales during the pandemic. It then made a series of bad merchandising decisions such as switching out brand-name products like KitchenAid for its own private-label goods."
Expect the retailer's struggles to impact others in the housewares industry that have struggled in the past few years — just as the closure of Toys R Us Inc. in 2017 hit toymakers, but exactly how that will play out remains to be seen.