Like most retail chains, Bed Bath & Beyond has been weathering the coronavirus storm. In an announcement made on Wednesday, they divulged plans to close around 200 stores over the next two years.
The announcement came just after the company released its quarterly earnings report on Wednesday morning. The report data confirms the company sales were down nearly 50% in the last quarter.
Bed Bath & Beyond also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops, and Harmon Face Values. While some of these stores may be in the closing mix, the company said it would be mainly Bed Bath & Beyond Stores.
The closures are expected to start later this year, with around 200 closures happening within the next two years. As of May 31, there were 955 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and 1,478 total stores, including those for its other brands.
In the first quarter, which ended May 31, the company closed 21 Bed Bath & Beyond stores while temporarily closing other stores due to the coronavirus.
Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Executive Mark Tritton stated, “The impact of the Covid-19 situation was felt across our business during our fiscal first quarter, including loss of sales due to temporary store closures.”
In response to the permanent closures, he stated they are part of a restructuring plan to help “rebuild and grow the business.” He also believes that Bed Bath & Beyond will “emerge from this crisis even stronger,” backing the strength of the Bed Bath & Beyond brand.
Re-opening sales are better than expected, according to Tritton. He noted that consumers were buying lower-ticket items during the early stages of the coronavirus.
Buyers have shifted from things like cleaning supplies and water filters to bigger ticket items. Home decor, bedding, and backyard accessories have been sought during re-openings, helping profit margins.
Tritton said it has a “strong financial position” to manage through the crisis. Due to the volatile nature of the virus, predicting the outcome of 2020 isn’t feasible. The company ended the first quarter with about $1.2 billion in cash and investments.
Many retailers have already begun temporarily closing stores again. Some local governments are also tightening restrictions – which could cause a second-round of temporary closures.
Apple has voluntarily re-closed dozens of stores and other retailers’ like Levi’s and Macy’s are looking to close for a second time to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
If Bed Bath & Beyond is forced to reclose, shoppers can still shop on Bed Bath & Beyond’s e-commerce site.