Dueling Fools: Bed Bath & Beyond

It's been tough to be a specialty retailer over the last nine months. Lowes (NYSE: LOW  ) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) were reporting problems with sales, due to a slowdown in housing. Even turnaround Circuit City (NYSE: CC  ) and the venerable Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) seemed to have lost their groove. But that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities out there.

In fact, it was an article in Barron's -- which pondered whether home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY  ) was a good buy -- that inspired this Duel.

It's certainly tough to show much love to a company that competes in such a difficult industry. You need only look at the missteps made by Pier 1 (NYSE: PIR  ) to see what can happen. On the flip side, many value investors increased their positions during those same tough times.

But what about the slowing pace of Bed Bath & Beyond's growth? How many more stores can it actually put up? How can it get same-store sales revved up again in these trying times -- and with someone like Target (NYSE: TGT  ) breathing down its neck? Can the company justify its current price?

That's what Matthew Crews and I are going to explore in our Duel today. So without further ado -- and with a promise that no one will be harmed in the process -- let's Duel!

Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart are all Motley Fool Inside Valuerecommendations. Bed Bath & Beyond is also aStock Advisor selection.

Retail editor and Inside Value team member David Meier is ranked 687 out of 20,375 in Motley Fool CAPS and does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. You can view his TMF profile here. The Fool takes its disclosure policy very seriously.


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