Plummeting Sales Force Bed Bath & Beyond to Close Stores, Cut Sales, and Sell Shares

Plummeting Sales Force Bed Bath & Beyond to Close Stores, Cut Sales, and Sell Shares

By Yehudit Garmaise

Bed Bath & Beyond announced today that its plummeting sales have forced the company to lay off 20% of its corporate and supply chain staff.

The former retail giant will also close 150 of its 955 nationwide stores, whose bustling aisles are stocked high with a dizzying array of popular home goods.

The sales of the formerly iconic store tumbled 26% in the quarter that ended Aug. 27, the board of directors said after its third-quarter strategic meeting.

In just the last two weeks, the company’s stock, once a favorite, has lost nearly half its value.

The store’s board of directors’ plans to sell additional shares sent its stock down 21% at midday on Wednesday.

Although Bed Bath & Beyond had considered selling its buybuy Baby chain, the board announced that it will hold on to the 135 stores that sell baby furniture and other goods.

Since 1987, Bed Bath & Beyond has offered consumers many large stores nationwide, however, in recent years, online shopping has likely replaced enthusiasm for what are sometimes called “big box stores.”

In 2019, the store’s former CEO Mark Tritton tried to turn sales around by selling more private-label “house” brands, but after customers were not interested, the board of directors ousted him.

The board, which continues to undo the merchandising and inventory strategies Tritton implemented, said on Wednesday that the store will discontinue a third of its house brands and refocus on selling national brands. 

 After Ryan Cohen, one of Bed, Bath & Beyond's primary investors, said he wanted to sell his more than 7 million shares of Bed Bath & Beyond on Monday, the board of directors said it would look for "fresh cash," or new investors.

Board member Sue Gove, a former retail executive and retail restructuring adviser, is leading Bed Bath & Beyond on an interim basis, as the search firm Russell Reynolds helps the veteran retailer to find a permanent CEO.

Photo: Flickr

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