UNION, NJ-Bed Bath & Beyond has entered the baby-related retailing business with the $67-million acquisition of buybuy Baby, which also includes the assumption of $19 million in debt. The Garden City, NY-based baby-products company owns eight stores in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia that range in size from 28,000 sf to 60,000 sf.

Buybuy Baby is the fourth chain Bed Bath will have under its ownership. Besides the just-over 800 namesake stores it operates, the company also owns the 35-unit Christmas Tree Shops chain and the 38-location beauty-products seller Harmon Stores.

“With just eight buybuy Baby stores today, and the fact that Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.’s customer base includes many prospective and current parents as well as their relatives and friends, we believe this category of business has tremendous growth potential,” says Steven H. Temares, Bed Bath’s CEO, in a statement.

Buybuy Baby was founded in 1996 by former Bed Bath employees Richard and Jeffrey Feinstein, who are also sons of Bed Bath’s co-chairman Leonard Feinstein. The company bills itself as the seller of more than 20,000 baby products to choose from.

A report by Lehman Brothers retail analysts notes that buybuy Baby has strong customer service at its stores and the concept has room to grow. “We believe Baby can have [a] national footprint, though rollout will likely be methodical as in past BBBY acquisitions, so management can first learn nuances of the business.”

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