Bed Bath & Beyond cutting 150 stores

Retailer planning layoffs, landed $500M amid dire financials

A photo illustration of Bed Bath & Beyond interim CEO Sue Gove (Getty Images, Bed Bath & Beyond)
A photo illustration of Bed Bath & Beyond interim CEO Sue Gove (Getty Images, Bed Bath & Beyond)

One of the most recognizable home brands is shrinking its footprint in a bid to keep the business afloat.

Bed Bath & Beyond is closing hundreds of stores and laying off a sizable percentage of its workforce, it announced on Wednesday. The New Jersey-based retailer has been struggling with slowing sales and a dive on the stock market, as well as a tumultuous leadership change.

About 150 of its lower-performing stores would be closed in the near future, the company announced, marking a footprint reduction of about 16 percent of its 955 stores. The company said it would continue to evaluate its portfolios and leases.

With fewer stores comes a significant reduction of staff. Bed Bath & Beyond said it would be laying off about 20 percent of its corporate and supply chain workforce in an effort to cut costs. Two corporate positions, chief operating officer and chief stores officer, have already been eliminated.

In a more positive bit of news for the retailer, financial assistance is on the way. Bed Bath & Beyond announced it had secured more than $500 million of new financing. The company landed a $375 million loan through Sixth Street Partners and expanded a $1.13 billion asset-backed revolving credit facility.

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The company has appeared in recent weeks to be struggling to chart its path forward. The interim financial update for the second quarter showed a 26 percent decline in comparable sales to the year before; the full financial update is expected next month. The stock is down about 17 percent year to date.

Recent tumult at Bed Bath & Beyond included hundreds of millions of dollars in sales sacrificed due to a lack of inventory, CNBC reported. Activist investor Ryan Cohen criticized the company before selling his entire stake, and Mark Tritton was ousted as chief executive in June, clearing the way for Sue Gove to take over on an interim basis.

The company is in the early stages of looking for a permanent CEO.