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Bed Bath & Beyond To Close Around 200 Stores

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Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. is planning to close around 200 mostly Bed Bath & Beyond stores over the next two years amid continuing struggles with Covid-19.

The home improvement retailer, which reported a wider-than-expected loss in its first quarter with sharply lower sales, said the move is part of its plans to right-size its real estate portfolio and to cut costs.

The company, which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values, expects its cost-cutting measures to save between $250 million and $350 million.

According to President and CEO Mark Tritton, the impact of the COVID-19 situation was felt across its business, including loss of sales due to temporary store closures and margin pressure from the substantial channel shift to digital.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, Bed Bath & Beyond in mid- March had temporarily closed more than half of its stores in the U.S. and Canada. Meanwhile, it continued to operate about 700 stores that sold essential products.

In mid-June, the New Jersey-based home goods retailer re-opened about 600 stores, including about 500 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, around 50 Christmas Tree Shop stores and around 50 Cost Plus World Market stores.

As of now, the company's nearly all stores are open. It also offers contactless curbside pickup services to about 1,350 stores in total. As of May 31, Bed Bath & Beyond operated 1,478 stores, including 955 Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

Across the country, majority of retail stores were forced to close stores for months due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, hurting their sales. Even before the pandemic outbreak, slowing foot traffic amid the ever-increasing online competition from industry majors and the changing consumer habits had forced many retailers to close their stores and seek bankruptcy protection.

Struggling home furnishings retailer Pier 1 Imports, Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in late May received approval for its planned wind-down of operations.

Fashion retailer L Brands Co. recently announced its plans to close around 250 Victoria's Secret stores, and to close more stores in 2021 and beyond.

Department store chain Macy's in early February announced its plan to close 125 stores.

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