Home-goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond will close its Upper East Side location at 410 East 61st Street in December, according to a notice filed with the New York State Department of Labor.
The Manhattan store is one of 63 nationwide expected to close by the end of the year, with six of those located in New York. In July, the company announced it would close 200 stores over the next two years.
The chain anticipates that 79 employees will lose their jobs when the 61st Street location closes, according to the DOL notice. Company representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jeff Mooallem, president and CEO of Gazit Horizons, the landlord of 410 East 61st Street, said the company has a lead on a new commercial tenant and that he is hopeful about announcing an agreement in the next 30 days.
The pandemic has left many traditional retailers, who were already under pressure from the e-commerce boom, facing difficult choices. Bed Bath & Beyond’s strategy of inundating shoppers with coupons and stocking its stores with a wide variety of goods was already becoming outdated, thanks to competition from online retailers like Amazon.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it would sell about half of its real estate to a private equity firm and then lease back the space, a deal expected to earn the company more than $250 million.
The retailer sold 2.1 million square feet of space to Oak Street Real Estate Capital — including its headquarters in Union Township, New Jersey — and in February, new CEO Mark Tritton announced plans to invest $1 billion on upgrading its stores and lease buybacks.
But the pandemic changed things. In May, the company paid no rent at any of its locations. In June, it paid at almost 39 percent of them, according to the latest Datex Property Solutions report on national retail chains.