Bed Bath & Beyond will be cutting about 150 stores as it tries to recover from a long sales slump.
Bed Bath & Beyond was founded in 1971 by Warren Eisbenberg and Leonard Feinstein in New Jersey, as just Bed ‘n Bath. By the mid-80s, they had 17 stores around New York and California, and opened their first superstore, Bed Bath & Beyond. They were early adopters of computer inventory, went public in the 1990s, and grew swiftly in the early 2000s, reaching over 1,100 stories by 2011.
In 2019, the chain announced they’d reduce their popular coupon campaigns, and also create private-label brands. At the time, they had 1020 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, 280 Cost Plus World Markets, 100 Buybuy Baby stores, and 130 other specialty decor stores. In more recent years, they’ve tried to shed some of the lesser brands, and quite a few stores closed in the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the company announced that they would be selling approximately 150 of the remaining Bed Bath & Beyond stores, and cutting 20% of their 32,000 workers. The cuts will save them an estimated $250 million in the current fiscal year. To further shore up their position, they may sell more stock and have lined up half a billion more in new financing.
They’ll also be moving back away from their own brands into popular national brands instead.
“There’s still an incredible degree of love for Bed Bath & Beyond,” Mara Sirhal, the newly named brand president of Bed Bath & Beyond, told industry analysts Wednesday. “We must get back to our rightful place as the home-category destination, and our goal is to achieve this by leading with the products and brands our customers want,” she added, demonstrating the true meaning of ‘the customer is always right.’
After a brief stint as a meme stock, Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock is down 65% from this time last year, including a precipitous 21% drop after the announcement on Wednesday.
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