Coronavirus-impacted Bed, Bath & Beyond to close over 200 stores as quarterly sales tumble

UNION, N.J. -- Bed, Bath & Beyond will close more than 200 stores over the next two years as part of a restructuring effort due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The impact of the COVID-19 situation was felt across our business during our fiscal first quarter, including loss of sales due to temporary store closures and margin pressure from the substantial channel shift to digital," Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond's president and CEO, said in a statement. "From the beginning of this crisis, we have taken measured, purposeful steps to help keep our people safe and our customers serviced, and we are proud of the way our teams have navigated this unprecedented challenge with speed and agility.  At the same time, our actions to strengthen our financial position and liquidity are enhancing our flexibility and capacity to invest and rebuild our business for long-term success."

The action is expected to help save between $250 and $350 million annually, excluding related one-time costs.

As of May 30, the company operated a total of 1,478 stores, including 955 Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. During the fiscal first quarter, the retailer closed 21 stores.

Bed, Bath & Beyond reported a 49 percent decrease in net sales to $1.3 billion compared to $2.57 billion a year ago. The company's reported a net loss of $302.29 million, or $2.44 per share, compared to $371.09 million, or $2.91 a share, a year ago.

The company's net online sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of total net sales, which surged 82 percent during the quarter, with increases of more than 100 percent during April and May. Meanwhile, net store sales decreased roughly 77 percent due to 90 percent of Bed, Bath & Beyond stores being closed during the majority of the quarter.

Gross margins decreased 26.7 percent due to higher fulfillment and shipping costs that came with increased online demand.

The company added that it will not provide financial guidance for 2020 due to the "continued uncertainty related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Bed, Bath & Beyond said Wednesday it believes it has a “strong financial position” to endure the pandemic, ending the first quarter with roughly $1.2 billion in cash and investments.

For more, check out FOXBusiness.