Editor's Note: Former attorney Dean Obeidallah is the host of SiriusXM's daily show 'The Dean Obeidallah'. Follow him at URL. His opinions are expressed in the following commentary. CNN has more opinions.
CNN) -- The closing of a retail chain should not cause an emotional reaction, unless it was a chain that had shaped our soundtrack. Bed Bath & Beyond, for many people, including myself included, was just that.
After learning that the chain filed for bankruptcy and was closing permanently on Sunday, I -- and others, I'm sure -- reflected on the role the chain played in our lives, and of course the blue and white coupons for 20% off.
Bed Bath & Beyond's CEO Sue Gove said it best in a Sunday statement when announcing that the company was closing: 'Millions have trusted us to help them through their most important life milestones -- from getting married to going to college, to settling in a new house to having a child.' Bed Bath & Beyond has been there for countless Americans at these key moments.
In 1971, Warren Eisenberg & Leonard Feinstein opened their first store in New Jersey - where everything good begins. The first Bed 'n Bath store had a name of Bed 'n Bath. As the chain grew, it changed its name to Bed Bath & Beyond in 1987. Bed Bath & Beyond reached its highest point in 2018 when it had more than 1,500 locations in North America.
Bed Bath & Beyond coupons for 20% off were everywhere. They were almost like their own currency. You had to get these coupons in person or by mail before they were sent via email. Then it was time to go shopping.
Bed Bath & Beyond stores sell almost everything. You might find scented candles in the first level, wall art in the second and odd little trinkets on the lower floor (depending on how the store is laid out near you). Bed Bath & Beyond had it all, so you didn't really need it.
After living in Manhattan for nearly 20 years, I was a regular customer at the store nearby -- like Norm from Norm's Cheers. This store helped me transition from three different homes.
I still have curtains over my windows and a salad dish that is used every day. There are also many other items from trips to the local shop. On Black Fridays I would be at the store as soon as it opened at 7 am to take advantage of extra savings. I would buy enough face soap and deodorant to last until the next Black Friday.
Bed Bath & Beyond's closure is not the only thing that has a negative impact. The chain's existence of more than 50 years likely brings back memories of shopping with family members we have lost.
Tower Records was a store that I wouldn't go to with my father. I was saddened when it closed in the middle of 2000s. Bed Bath & Beyond, however, was a similar store because there was one near my hometown of New Jersey. With its closure come memories of shopping with him or buying him a useful dad-type gift.
As we age, the closure of certain places brings back bittersweet memories. You may have a fond memory of a restaurant where your family would gather for holidays, or you might remember a sports stadium where you and your parent went.
Bed Bath & Beyond was no longer in my neighbourhood by December 2020, when the hard times began to hit. The daily emails sent by the retail chain, offering the 20% off coupon that was previously only available in-store, soon offset the disappointment.
Bed Bath & Beyond's bad news only got worse as the consumers began to use Amazon and other online platforms more. On Sunday morning, I finally received those emails with the subject line 'Open to receive your 20% coupon'. The subject line 'Open for your 20% coupon!' or 'Up To 50% Off' was replaced by a message that read 'Important update from Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
The message announced the sad news that 'Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. filed voluntary Chapter 11 protection earlier today', and explained that the chain was closing.
Bed Bath & Beyond allows you to use your 20% off coupon for one last time, or even two. I used my coupon to make a purchase on Sunday morning. Bed Bath & Beyond, like many other famous chains that have closed down -- such as Blockbuster and Sharper Image -- will become a distant memory in time. Bed Bath & Beyond will be gone, but the memories it left behind of how it helped to fill our lives and homes will remain.