Bed Bath & Beyond Announces Layoffs and Closures Amid Struggles

Approaching the end of August, home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond revealed a plan to close stores and layoff staff in a somewhat emergency cost-cutting effort. On a recent call with investors, the struggling New Jersey-based chain discussed the details, including the closure of approximately 150 “lower producing” stores and slashing payroll by around 20 percent. Job losses will come from various levels from the company, from corporate all the way down to the supply chain workforce.

In the same announcement, Bed Bath & Beyond also disclosed that increasingly slower sales have waged persistent damage on the company. Over the most recent quarter alone (ending August 27), same-store sales have plummeted more than 25 percent. This is the steepest drop after a consistent series of decline.

Of course, their fall does not come as much of a surprise. For one, supply chain issues have resulted in lower sales, simply because stores have extremely limited inventory, so consumers simply aren’t spending as much or as often. In addition, activist investor Ryan Cohen recently—and very publicly—criticized the company; he later sold off all of his company stakes. Then, in June, the board of directors ousted [former] CEO Mark Tritton, who was originally brought on to develop a new strategy for success.

The company now says their new direction is to simply focus on winning back the shoppers who may have started going elsewhere for their home goods.

Indeed, interim CEO Sue Gove comments, “We are embracing a straight-forward, back-to-basics philosophy that focuses on better serving our customers, driving growth, and delivering business returns.” She explains that the company has made significant changes and opened up their entire enterprise to reestablished their dominance as a preferred shopping destination.

It appears the whole of the leadership is on the same page. New Bed Bath & Beyond president Mara Sirhal made a similar evocation, noting that fans of the company are still out there shopping, but “we must get back to our rightful place as the home category destination.” She goes on to say that their new goal is to earn this rating by offering more products and brands sought more often by customers.