At its peak, Bed Bath & Beyond operated the largest home furnishing retailer in the United States with over 970 stores across all 50 states, consistently at the forefront of major home and bath trends. Operating stores spanning the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, Bed Bath & Beyond offers everything from bed linens to cookware to electric appliances, home organization, baby care, and more. Now, Bed Bath & Beyond has announced that it will close all 360 stores and 120 Buy Buy Baby locations on Wednesday and seek to sell parts of its business. In its filing with the bankruptcy court, the company said that it expected all stores to close by June 30, according to the New York Times.
According to the New York Times report, customers may use Bed Bath & Beyond coupons until Wednesday, when store closing sales begin. Customers will have until May 8 to use Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards. The company did not specify when its Bed Bath & Beyond and Buy Buy Baby apps would shut down, saying only that customers can continue using the apps “at this time.” The Gaithersburg location closed a couple years back and the Germantown location closed permanently on Sunday. The Rockville location is the only Bed Beth & Beyond store left in MoCo with Buy Buy Baby also having a location in Rockville.
Per the filing, “Defying all expectations over the past four months, Bed Bath & Beyond secured credit agreement waivers and amendments and was able to access the equity markets in February and March in a last-ditch effort to avoid bankruptcy. But, in-store sales continued to decline—with fourth quarter sales falling by almost $1 billion dollars year over year—and strained vendor credit relationships which led to a lack of inventory. And notwithstanding painstaking, creative, and exhaustive efforts to right the ship along the way, Bed Bath & Beyond is simply unable to service its funded debt obligations while simultaneously supplying sufficient inventory to its store locations. All of which necessitates the filing of these chapter 11 cases.”
Additional history courtesy of Bed Beth & Beyond’s filing: The Bed Bath & Beyond story originates with Lenny and Warren—two retailing icons whose last names need no mention in the world of specialty home furnishing. As friends and executives at the struggling American discount chain Arlans in the 1960s, Leonard Feinstein and Warren Eisenberg saw what others did not. There was an impending department store shakeout and a window of opportunity into specialty retailing that was, in their view, ripe for the taking. “It was the beginning of the designer approach to linens and housewares,” Lenny reflected. This prescient sense of a looming and seismic shift in retailing trends towards specialty stores led Lenny and Warren to resign their senior posts at Arlans and bet big on themselves. In 1971, with an investment of $50,000 each, a small chain of specialty linen and bath shops known as Bed ‘n Bath was born. The philosophy was simple: offer name brands at a discount. With one store in Springfield, New Jersey, near where Warren lived and another store in Cedarhurst, New York, closer to where Lenny resided, the two friends embarked on a more than 50-year long journey to develop the ultimate American titan in specialty retail.
Featured photo courtesy of Google Maps