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Bed Bath & Beyond to close 200 stores after sales fell almost 50% during pandemic

Online sales grew more than 100% while in-store sales plummeted approximately 77% during the pandemic.
/ Source: TODAY

Bed Bath & Beyond has joined the growing list of retailers permanently closing hundreds of stores due to slumping sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company announced Wednesday that it plans to close roughly 200 of its 955 Bed Bath & Beyond stores within the next two years, starting later this year, after reporting that its sales were down nearly 50% in the latest quarter.

Bed Bath & Beyond also owns Christmas Tree Shops, Harmon Face Values and buybuy Baby and has a total of 1,478 stores. The company said in its news release that its net sales were down 49% during the quarter made up by March, April and May compared to last year.

With much of the nation on lockdown during April and May, Bed Bath & Beyond's online sales grew more than 100% while in-store sales plummeted approximately 77%, the company said. Online sales accounted for two-thirds of the company's total sales in the quarter.

Almost all of the company's stores have been reopened across the country. Customers have been buying more home accessories compared to cleaning supplies now that so much of life is centered around people's homes during the pandemic.

“Home is now everything,” Chief Executive Mark Tritton told CNBC. “It’s the epicenter.”

The expected store closings by Bed Bath & Beyond come after a host of other major chains have announced bankruptcies and permanent store closures.

J.C. Penney announced the closing of 154 stores across 38 states as it restructures after filing for bankruptcy in May, Victoria's Secret plans to close 250 stores across the United States and Canada, home goods retailer Tuesday Morning is closing 230 stores after filing for bankruptcy, clothing companies J. Crew and Brooks Brothers have filed for bankruptcy and a host of restaurant chains have filed for bankruptcy and permanently shuttered locations.