Bed Bath & Beyond rolls out membership program

Bed Bath & Beyond is looking to drive sales with its new membership program.

The chain launched the program, Beyond +, in an invitation-only pilot last year. It is now open to all consumers. The program, which has an annual fee of $29, provides members with a 20% discount on purchases (with some exclusions), both online and in store. It also offers free shipping for online orders (with the exception of oversized items).

On the marketing side, Bed, Bath & Beyond is best known for its direct mail 20%-off coupons, which also appear in such magazines as "People," and $5-off coupons. The coupons are so easily available and so widely used that, according to industry analysts, the promotions are pressuring the chain's gross margins.