Bed Bath & Beyond Is Closing Dozens More Locations and Liquidating Inventories
The store recently announced that it could be headed towards bankruptcy.
The hard lesson of retail is that no store is safe from downturns in business, no matter how large or successful they may be. The past few months alone have been filled with notable examples of this, from the shuttering of all Sears Hometown stores—as well as its iconic parent company all but disappearing—to the potential impending bankruptcy of Party City. And now, Bed Bath & Beyond is entering another phase of its drawn-out decline as the struggling retailer says it's closing dozens more stores and liquidating inventories. Read on to see what could come next for the hard-up home goods purveyor.
Bed Bath & Beyond recently announced it had "substantial doubt" about its future.
The past few years have not been easy for Bed Bath & Beyond. In 2020, the company announced that it would be closing 200 underperforming stores over the next two years amid sinking sales numbers. But despite its shrinking footprint, the still-struggling retailer announced it would shut down another 150 "lower-producing" locations in a press release on Aug. 31 last year.
Since then, the retailer has openly expressed concerns that it may not be able to weather the storm and was considering filing for bankruptcy. "The company has concluded that there is substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern," Bed Bath & Beyond said in a business update released on Jan. 5.
The announcement was seen as a major blow to the store's remaining prospects. "Before Christmas, there was just a glimmer of hope," Neil Saunders, managing director at the retail consulting firm GlobalData, told The New York Times. "There was a view that, OK, it's going to be difficult, but maybe they were going to pull through. Things have just got worse."
The retailer just released an expanded list of which stores are closing and liquidating inventory.
Despite the store's best efforts, it appears as though it's continuing to shutter more of its outposts. On Jan. 10, Bed Bath & Beyond released an updated list of more than 120 store closings, adding 62 new locations to the 56 it initially singled out in September, Axios reports. The changes will affect 30 states, with California topping the list with eight closures, Florida losing six locations, and Michigan losing five.
While no exact final shopping date has been announced, select stores from the updated list said that they expected to close sometime in March, Axios reports. Some of the listed Bed Bath & Beyond locations may also have already closed, while others were liquidating their inventories with deep discounts in their final weeks. However, many of the surviving stores that are slated to close have stopped accepting coupons or processing returns.
Best Life has reached out to Bed Bath & Beyond for comment on the store closings, but has yet to hear back.
The retailer continues to struggle with slumping sales.
The true image of the company's financial woes came more into focus when it released its quarterly results on Jan. 10, which includes the all-important holiday shopping season. The figures painted a grim picture, with the retailer reporting a drastic 33 percent drop in net sales compared to last year alongside an identical decline in online sales, Yahoo Finance reports. The company said its adjusted operating losses were $225 million, with only $153.1 million left in cash on its balance sheet.
The retailer also appears to be losing its vital stream of customers. Researchers at foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai found a 26.5 percent drop in customers this December compared to the same month in 2021, Axios reports. It also noted that every month in 2022 saw a decline in in-store shoppers compared to the previous year.
The company says it's still trying to cut costs and stay afloat.
Even when faced with a dire outlook on its balance sheets, the company's leadership still says there's a chance to salvage what remains. During an earnings call on Jan. 10, Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Sue Gove said it would be cutting corporate jobs to free up cash on top of the recently announced store closures.
"As we shared last week, we continue to work with advisors as we consider all strategic alternatives to accomplish our near- and long-term goals," Gove said, per Yahoo Finance. "We have a team, internally and externally, with proven experience helping companies successfully navigate complex situations and become stronger. Multiple paths are being explored, and we are determining our next steps thoroughly, and in a timely manner. We are committed to updating all stakeholders on our plans as they develop and finalize—particularly our employees and partners, who are the essential catalysts of our business and the cornerstones of our future."