Bed Bath & Beyond to permanently close 200 stores

Bed Bath & Beyond will permanently close 200 stores within the next two years, the company announced on Wednesday.

The retailer released its plans to shut down 21 percent of its stores beginning later in 2020. Bed Bath & Beyond, which runs Buybuy Baby, Harmon Face Values, Christmas Tree Shops, and World Market, said the closures will “mostly” apply to Bed Bath & Beyond stores. 

The closures are expected to help the company save between $250 and $350 million annually after one-time expenses. 

The announcement comes as Bed Bath & Beyond reported a 49 percent loss in sales during its first quarter this year, during “the most critical months to date of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the release. 

During the same period, net online sales jumped 82 percent and accounted for two-thirds of the company’s first quarter net sales. 

“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 and margin pressure from the substantial channel shift to digital,” company CEO Mark Tritton said in the release. 

“We believe Bed Bath & Beyond will emerge from this crisis even stronger, given the strength of our brand, our people and our balance sheet,” he added. 

As of the end of May, Bed Bath & Beyond had 1,478 stores. The company reported closing 21 stores last quarter and 14 stores in late 2019.

Tritton told CNBC that stores were performing above internal expectations as they are reopening. But certain areas of the U.S. are experiencing surges in cases, prompting some retailers like Macy’s and Levi’s to consider reclosing several stores. 

Retail stores have struggled financially during the pandemic, leading several to file for bankruptcy, including Brooks Brothers, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and J.C. Penney.

Tags Bed Bath & Beyond Coronavirus COVID-19 First quarter online sales Pandemic store closures

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