Bed Bath & Beyond Shuts Indie E-Tailer Of a Kind

Bed Bath & Beyond is shutting Of a Kind, the online marketplace it purchased in 2015 that sells limited-edition items, including jewelry, from emerging designers.

A message from company founders Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo called it a “tough news day.”

“Our parent company, Bed Bath & Beyond, has decided to close Of a Kind,” it said. “We are, of course, very sad, but we also couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve built over the last nine years—or more grateful to have had you cheering us on. It has been a privilege to get to create the business we wanted to see in the world and an honor to showcase the work and stories of 600+ designers and makers whose work we admire and are, frankly, in awe of.”

It urged customers to purchase “those special earrings you’ve wish-listed” before Oct. 7, when the site closes for good.

Founded in 2010 by college friends Mazur and Cerulo, the site aimed to “make the work of crazy-talented, oh-so-inspiring emerging designers accessible to a huge and diverse audience—not only those who live in New York City like us but also people in towns like the ones where we grew up: Peoria, Illinois, and Wilmington, Delaware.”

When Bed Bath & Beyond first bought it, Cerulo told Racked that “as part of the Bed Bath & Beyond family, we’ll be able to benefit from its resources, infrastructure, and talent—not to mention its 40-plus years of retail success.”

But some thought that the mass-market retailer of bedsheets and the curated showcase of indie items made an odd fit.

In Motley Fool, Rich Duprey complained that Bed Bath’s “scattershot” acquisitions didn’t “make sense.”

He called Of a Kind one of a number of “tiny e-commerce platforms” it purchased that carry “very specialized offerings that aren’t going to do much for the broader company.”

The news comes as Bed Bath & Beyond—which has flirted with selling jewelry over the years—announced plans to close 60 stores and has been under pressure from activist investors to shut nonperforming assets.

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JCK News Director