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Bed Bath & Beyond Just Made a Major Change to Stay Afloat

The longstanding store is selling off this fan favorite in an effort to survive the retail apocalypse.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the retail industry hard, putting millions of Americans out of work and giving centuries-old stores no choice but to close their doors for good. Every day, it feels like more big brands are filing for bankruptcy, drastically reducing their workforce, or making some other major move just to stay afloat. Recently, Bed Bath & Beyond—a popular home retail chain with more than 1,000 stores across the country—announced that they would be closing 200 locations over the next two years, according to USA Today. These closures—more than 60 of which are underway—are Bed Bath & Beyond's attempt to recover and survive the financial hardships wrought by the pandemic. But now, the company is making another drastic move to stay afloat—Bed Bath & Beyond has sold off its much-loved Christmas Tree Shops. Read on to find out the seasonal store's fate, and for more retail news, check out This Popular Clothing Chain Just Announced It's Closing 250 Stores.

Bed Bath & Beyond announced this week that they've entered into an agreement to sell Christmas Tree Shops to Handil Holdings, LLC. The deal, set to be complete by November, includes all 80 brick-and-mortar Christmas Tree Shops locations, but the good news is that Handil plans to continue operating the stores as Americans have come to know and love them.

The first Christmas Tree Shops opened back to the 1970s in Yarmouthport, Massachussetts, selling gifts and ornaments. The shop soon expanded into three different spaces—Front Shop, Back Shop, and Barn Shop. Eventually, they sold home items for occasions throughout the year, but the original name stuck. In 2003, the chain was acquired by Bed Bath & Beyond, growing to 80 stores in 21 states.

In addition to selling off Christmas Tree Shops, Bed Bath & Beyond also sold its Linen Holdings business and a distribution center located in Florence, New Jersey as part of an ongoing effort to stay in business. "Today's announcement builds on the purposeful steps we have made throughout the year to simplify our portfolio, unlock capital and create clear strategic focus to accelerate our plans to build our authority in the Home, Baby, Beauty and Wellness markets," Bed Bath & Beyond president and CEO Mark Tritton said in a statement. "We will continue to invest in our digital-first experience with a customer-inspired assortment that makes it easy to feel at home with Bed Bath & Beyond."

The monetization of these assets is expected to generate $250 million for the company, and is part of a wider restructuring that has already seen 63 stores close and the loss of 2,800 jobs. The hope is that these decisions can secure the company's future, but not every brand has been so lucky. Read on to see stores that have fully succumbed to COVID, and for more retail news, check out how Apple Just Discontinued This Popular Phone.

Lord & Taylor

Lord and Taylor store with closing sale sign

In August, iconic department store Lord & Taylor announced that they had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and would be going out of business. Lord & Taylor's financial hardships began before COVID: the chain was sold to Le Tote in 2019, but it was not enough to keep the company going once the pandemic hit.

Century 21

century 21 department store exterior

Beloved regional department store Century 21 filed for bankruptcy in September and the company soon revealed all 13 locations would be closing. In a statement, Century 21 co-CEO Raymond Gindi explained that, due to COVID, the company had "no viable alternative but to begin the closure of our beloved family business."

Stein Mart

A Stein Mart location in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Stein Mart is a chain of department stores in the US.

In August, 112-year-old Stein Mart announced that they would be shutting all their stores down. The popular discount store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to "the combined effects of a challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the coronavirus," Stein Mart CEO Hunt Hawkins said in a statement. Now, all 280 locations across 30 states are disappearing. And for another longtime favorite that's starting to vanish, check out This Beloved Beauty Brand Is Closing Stores Nationwide

Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 Imports store with closing sign

Pier 1 Imports, your favorite spot for curated home goods, filed for bankruptcy in mid-May. The stores that remain are currently winding down with going-out-of-business sales, with all 540 locations shuttering for good by the end of October. And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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