Could those ubiquitous 20% off coupons become a rarer sight in your mailbox? Bed Bath & Beyond's sales have slumped so much that the retail chain will have to make big changes to right the ship.
In its latest financial disclosures, the chain reported that sales plummeted 22% year over year in the fourth quarter, which ended March 31. The company cited supply-chain difficulties that made it tough to keep advertised products in stock. Overall, out-of-stock merchandise led to $175 million in lost sales, the company says.
The disappointing news comes despite the chain's multi-year efforts at revitalizing the brand, including introducing more private labels and partnering with Kroger to sell its products. Wedding registries, with a glut of pandemic-postponed weddings planned for this year, are the one bright spot in Bed Bath & Beyond's financial forecast.
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In 2020, the retailer even announced plans to close 200 stores nationwide amid declining sales and fewer in-store visitors, much of that thanks to competitors including Amazon and Target stealing shoppers. In a round of closures announced in January, 37 stores were on the docket, including in New York, where seven stores will close, California, where five will close, and Washington, which will lose four locations.
In a last-ditch effort to shake things up, the company struck a deal last month with activist fund RC Ventures, owned by Chewy founder Ryan Cohen. He now owns 10% of Bed Bath & Beyond, and criticized the company for having "cumbersome" plans and giving top leaders "outsized" financial compensation.
Bed Bath & Beyond isn't the only retailer cutting back on bricks-and-mortar locations. Macy's has also released a list of store closures for this year and targeted 125 total closures by 2023. CVS also recently announced a round of closings, saying it will shutter 900 of its nearly 10,000 stores over the next three years while it pivots away from retail and toward health-care services.
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