Bed Bath & Beyond has made a quick pivot to meet surging online demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The home goods retailer said it converted approximately 25% of its stores across the US and Canada into regional fulfillment centers — almost doubling its digital fulfillment capacity — to support a significant rise in online sales. Bed Bath & Beyond said its digital sales are up by more than 85% to date in April.
To support the enhanced regional fulfillment network and accelerate the introduction of new services for customers, the company has brought several hundred associates back from furlough. In addition, hundreds more new positions have been created in the company's e-commerce distribution centers to meet the increased demand across digital channels.
In addition, Bed Bath & Beyond is starting curbside pick-up at its Harmon stores, which remain open during the pandemic, and is extending buy-online-pickup-in-store and contactless, curbside delivery services to customers at certain Bed Bath & Beyond stores in the U.S. (starting with a number of stores across Florida and Texas), subject to state and local regulations. It also is adding BOPIS and curbside pick-up at all buy buy Baby stores and Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Canada.
Similar to many other retailers, the company is extending the temporary closure of most of its stores. It also is extending the furlough of the majority of store associates and a portion of corporate associates until at least May 16, 2020. The retailer will continue to pay 100% of the cost of healthcare premiums for all furloughed associates who currently participate in the company's health plan, until further notice.
Also being extended are temporary 30% pay cuts across Bed Bath & Beyond’s executive team, including Tritton. As previously announced, the chairman and all other independent directors will continue to forgo 30% of their quarterly cash compensation.
“This is a fluid situation, so as well as serving our loyal customers online in their homes, we will also expand the number of locations where customers can buy online and pick up at store, or simply drive up and enjoy contactless, curbside pick-up, in line with local, state and federal guidance,” said CEO Mark Tritton. "I want to thank our team for their dedication and service as we do what we can to make it easy for our customers to feel at home during this difficult time."