The BDN is making the most crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact in Maine free for all readers. Click here for all coronavirus stories. You can join others committed to safeguarding this vital public service by purchasing a subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.
Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond will close about 200 stores during the next two years due to “the unprecedented financial and operational impacts of COVID-19” as part of a plan to save $250 million to $350 million annually, the company announced Wednesday.
As part of a statement detailing the company’s first quarter results, the Union, New Jersey-based corporation revealed that it had sales of $1.3 billion in March, April and May ― a decrease of about 49 percent compared to the prior year due to temporary store closures forced by coronavirus.
The company’s net sales from its digital or online efforts grew 82 percent, including sales growth in those areas that exceeded 100 percent during April and May, while net sales from stores declined 77 percent. Some 90 percent of the chain’s stores were closed during the quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to the statement.
The chain, which has stores in Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Brunswick and South Portland, did not say which stores will be closing or whether any of the Maine stores would be targeted.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. President and CEO Mark Tritton said that the company did well navigating the pandemic, finishing 2019 with a year-end cash and investments balance of $1.4 billion, and, by establishing lines of credit an what he called “well-controlled cash management strategies and other cost reduction interventions,” ended the first quarter with a cash and investments balance of $1.2 billion.
“From the beginning of this crisis, we have taken measured, purposeful steps to help keep our people safe and our customers serviced, and we are proud of the way our teams have navigated this unprecedented challenge with speed and agility,” Tritton said in the statement.
With all of its stores now open, the company plans to continue a shift, begun during the pandemic, of increasing its online sales and curbside pickup efforts and eventually closing some of its brick-and-mortar stores, Tritton said.
“We believe Bed Bath & Beyond will emerge from this crisis even stronger, given the strength of our brand, our people and our balance sheet,” Tritton said.