Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the last name for NYU professor Lawrence J. White. The story has been updated.

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (PIX11) — It’s one of the largest retailers in the world, and it got its start in a North Jersey town. At the very first store of what ended up becoming an international chain, customers were on the scene in large numbers on Monday. They were trying to take advantage of shopping deadlines issued by Bed Bath & Beyond, as the Fortune 500 company headed toward shuttering its retail empire next month

“I had a gift card that I didn’t want to expire,” said Eileen Kosinski-Piscko, as she pushed a filled shopping cart from the door of the Springfield Bed Bath & Beyond store to her car. 

She was aware of the schedule that the retailer with more than 1,100 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico has issued after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday. It said that customers can expect the following milestones:

  • Starting on Wednesday, April 26, none of the chain’s 1,100 stores will accept coupons or Welcome Rewards+ discounts
  • Monday, May 8 will be the last day that stores will accept gift cards or gift certificates 
  • Wednesday, May 24 will be the last day that stores will accept returns or exchanges for items purchased prior to April 23

Carl Gould, the president of 7 Stage Advisors and a business growth expert, said that the New Jersey company’s success in years past may have led to its demise.

“The average shopper could go in [to a store], not have to talk to a sales consultant, understand what products are on the shelves, and make their purchases,” Gould said about the original Bed Bath & Beyond concept. “You just described the online shopping experience,” he continued, adding that the brick-and-mortar retailer was ineffective, in his opinion, at transferring its online-like shopping concept to the web. Instead, other companies, like Amazon, were successful at doing so, Gould said.

Lawrence J. White, a professor at NYU Stern School of Business, said that while large box stores in general are disappearing, some are able to be profitable by doing what Bed Bath & Beyond had been unable to do successfully: having a powerful, effective online shopping experience that complements the in-store retail environment. 

White said that Home Depot and Walmart are examples of achieving the balance. “Figuring out that melding has to be part of the new era,” White said.