Overstock.com's acquisition of Bed Bath & Beyond

The Marketing Challenges and Opportunities of Overstock’s Acquisition of Bed Bath & Beyond

Overstock.com, the online retailer known for selling furniture, home goods, and jewelry, has made a surprising move to acquire the intellectual property and digital assets of Bed Bath & Beyond, the bankrupt chain of physical stores that sold similar products. The deal, which was approved by a bankruptcy court for $21.5 million, gives Overstock.com access to Bed Bath & Beyond’s brand name, customer data and online platforms, but not its remaining stores or inventory.

As a leading SEO company, our big interest is in the potential migration and merger of overstock.com with bedbathandbeyond.com. Before we dive into those juicy details, let’s take a quick look at the history of Overstock and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Overstock’s History

Overstock.com is an online retailer that specializes in selling furniture, home goods, jewelry and other products at discounted prices. The company was founded in 1999 by Patrick M. Byrne, who saw an opportunity to liquidate the inventories of failed dot-com companies. 

Overstock.com went public in 2002 and became profitable in 2009, reaching its first billion-dollar year in 2010. Overstock.com also invested in blockchain technology and fintech businesses through its former subsidiary Medici Ventures, which was transferred to a venture fund in 2021.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s History

Bed Bath & Beyond was founded in 1971 by Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein, who had previously worked in management at a discount chain. They opened their first store in New Jersey, selling bed linens and bath accessories. They expanded their product range and store size over the years, becoming a leader in the home furnishings industry. They went public in 1992 and reached over 1,500 stores across the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. 

However, they faced increasing competition from online retailers and other specialty stores. They also struggled to adapt to changing consumer preferences and shopping habits, particularly the transition to ecommerce. They closed hundreds of stores, laid off workers, and tried to revamp their online presence, but failed to turn around their business. In April 2023, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced that they would liquidate their assets and wind down their operations by July 2023.

Our Take On the Acquisition

I think that Overstock’s acquisition of Bed Bath & Beyond’s intellectual and digital assets is a smart move that could benefit both companies and their customers. Overstock could leverage the brand recognition, customer loyalty and online platforms of Bed Bath & Beyond to expand its product offerings, increase its traffic and improve its SEO rankings. 

Bed Bath & Beyond could preserve its legacy and reputation by transferring its assets to a reputable online retailer that shares its vision of providing quality home furnishings at affordable prices. The deal could also create synergies and efficiencies in the online retail industry, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has accelerated the shift to ecommerce.

Analyzing the Status Quo for Both Domains

Over the past three months, Overstock has demonstrated remarkable growth in web traffic, surpassing its competitor, BBB, in terms of overall visitor count. According to recent data, Overstock has recorded a traffic of 12.7 million visitors, while Bed Bath & Beyond has seen a slightly lower count of 9.3 million visitors.

This can be attributed to Overstock’s significant investments in diverse marketing strategies, including advertising and social media campaigns. By allocating substantial resources towards paid promotions, Overstock has successfully broadened its reach and likely improved its market share vis-a-vis BBB. 

All traffic for Overstock and BBB from Mar-May 2023

However, it’s interesting to note that despite Overstock’s higher overall traffic, BBB still has the lead in organic traffic over the last three months. This suggests that while BBB no longer has the financial resources to compete for paid traffic, it certainly enjoys excellent brand recall and loyalty, valuable assets that Overstock would do well to leverage during the acquisition.

Since May, BBB’s organic traffic has fallen off, somewhat along expected lines, as the news of its bankruptcy spread and its site functionality was limited.

Organic traffic for Overstock and BBB from Mar-May 2023

Channels overview for Overstock and BBB from Mar-May 2023

It’s apparent that the bankruptcy has also had a significant negative impact on BBB’s keyword performance, with the number of BBB keywords holding a top 10 position having declined. On the other hand, Overstock has experienced a substantial increase in its ranking.

Keywords analysis for Overstock and BBB from Mar-May 2023

Finally, it’s also worth noting Overstock’s impressive social traffic figure of 800,000 visitors over the last three months. This suggests that it has successfully established a strong presence on social media, employing various strategies to drive engagement and capture market share.

Social traffic for Overstock and BBB from Mar-May 2023

Which Domain Is More Valuable? Should Overstock.com Become the Main Domain?

Our opinion here is influenced by three factors:

  1. Analysis of the traffic metrics of both brands and what they indicate about their respective market positions
  2. The reasons that led to the bankruptcy 
  3. The impact of the news of BBB’s bankruptcy

In analyzing all these factors, it is evident that Overstock would be a more valuable domain than BBB. The latter’s declining market share, the baggage of its bankruptcy, and the underlying problems in its business model, including its inability to adapt to ecommerce, clearly suggest that overstock.com would be a better bet.

The SEO Implications of Merging Both Domains

Merging two large, aged domains like overstock.com and bedbathandbeyond.com can have both positive and negative SEO implications, depending on how the process is executed. 


The combined domain could benefit from the authority, traffic, and backlinks of both sites, creating a stronger online presence and ranking potential. The merged site could also target a wider range of keywords and offer more relevant and comprehensive content to the users. The consolidation could also reduce content duplication and cannibalization issues that might have affected the individual sites. 


The merged site could face technical challenges and errors during the migration, such as broken links, redirect loops, crawl issues, and indexation problems among others. These could negatively impact the user experience and the SEO performance of the site. 

The merged site could also lose some of the niche relevance and specificity that the individual sites had, and face more competition from other sites in the same industry. The consolidation could also trigger a temporary drop in rankings and traffic until Google re-evaluates the new site. 

Merging two large, aged domains requires careful planning, execution and monitoring to ensure that the SEO benefits outweigh the risks. 

How to Gauge Success or Failure?

To determine the success of a rebranding effort, financial performance indicators such as revenue growth, profitability, and market share should be considered. Additionally, brand recognition and awareness can be assessed through website traffic analysis, social media engagement, and media mentions. Lastly, monitoring market share, customer acquisition rates, and competitive positioning can also provide valuable insights on the impact of the acquisition and rebranding on the company’s market standing. 

The timeframe for determining the success of an acquisition and rebranding can vary depending on various factors, including the nature of the business, the scale of the changes, and industry dynamics. It often takes months or even years to fully assess the long-term effects and determine the overall success or failure of the endeavor.

In the interim, smart SEO analysis can give you a number of clues as well as to how well the merger is going. 

  • Monitoring organic search rankings for relevant keywords before and after the rebranding can indicate the effectiveness of the transition. 
  • Analyzing organic search traffic trends over several months can reveal positive shifts in attracting visitors. 
  • Assessing the website’s backlink profile, including the quantity and quality of inbound links, can indicate whether the rebranding has preserved or improved the website’s ranking potential. 
  • Evaluating technical SEO performance, such as site speed and mobile-friendliness, tells you how well the website has sustained its SEO capabilities. 
  • Lastly, assessing engagement metrics, like user behavior and conversion rates, over an extended period can reveal the impact of the rebranding on user interactions.

Partner With Coalition for Actionable SEO Insights

Overstock’s acquisition of Bed Bath & Beyond’s digital assets is an excellent case study to see how SEO analysis can be a powerful tool to influence digital merger decisions. Well-implemented SEO can also significantly improve outcomes in cases like this.

Partner with Coalition to unlock deep insights for your company and sustainably grow your business. We’ve generated over half a billion dollars in revenue for over 800 clients worldwide. Browse through some of our customer reviews or reach out to us to schedule a free consultation.  

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