A home goods retailer with two stores in the Charleston region is being snapped up by a larger rival.
Bed Bath & Beyond said today it has agreed to buy Oakland, Calif.-based Cost Plus Inc. for about $495 million.
Cost Plus, which operates under the names World Market and Cost Plus World Market, has seven South Carolina stores, including one each on Savannah Highway in West Ashley and at Azalea Square in Summerville.
Locally, Bed Bath & Beyond has three retail outlets: on Orleans Road in West Ashley; in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre; and on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.
The two chains had been testing a specialty food department at some Bed Bath & Beyond stores for the past 18 nmonths. The pilot program showed the departments “could help generate in-store traffic and sharpen the edge against online retailers,” Cost Plus CEO Barry Feld said in a letter to employees on the company’s website. Cost Plus started in 1958 as one store selling imported goods called Cost Plus World Market in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. There are now 259 stores worldwide. Union, N.J.-based Bed Bath & Beyond was founded in 1971 and operates more than 1,000 stores under its own name as well as Christmas Tree Shops, Harmon, Harmon Face Values, and BuyBuy Baby in the United States.
So called “big-box” store operators are facing more competition from discount chains and online retailers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.