Bed Bath & Beyond is planning to reopen 600 stores across the country, the latest chain retailer to unlock its doors as states wind down shelter-in-place orders.
The home-goods company estimates about half its stores will be open by June 13 — subject to local regulations — and it will roll out curbside delivery at an additional 600 stores. Curbside pickup will be available at 90 percent of its 1,500 stores across the U.S. and Canada, the company announced Friday. It estimates the measures will bring back 11,000 employees who are currently furloughed due to measures around the pandemic.
“Our financial flexibility allows us to take this patient, market-by-market approach, while we invest in rebuilding our business and introducing new services for our loyal customers,” Bed Bath & Beyond president and CEO Mark Tritton said in a statement.
Tritton joined the company in November after activist investors pushed out its top executives. In December, he restructured the leadership team, letting six executives go. And in January, Bed Bath & Beyond sold about half its real estate assets to private equity firm Oak Street Real Estate Capital and then leased back the space.
The reopening of hundreds of stores comes as the retail industry — already crippled under competition from ecommerce — faces increasing pressure on all sides, made worse by the coronavirus crisis. A number of big retail chains, including Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney and J. Crew filed for bankruptcy in the last month.
With stores closed across the country, rent collections among 135 major chains plunged 58 percent in April. Mall giant Macerich reported that it collected only 26 percent of April rent payments across its 47 shopping centers. And now, some malls that have reopened are seeing only a fraction of normal foot traffic.