Bed Bath & Beyond withdraws fiscal outlook; delays store closures

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Bed Bath & Beyond withdraws fiscal outlook; delays store closures

By Marianne Wilson - 01/09/2020
Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond said it will reveal its strategic plan in early 2020 as it swung to a third-quarter loss with sales and earnings that missed Street expectations.

The embattled retailer also said it would delay closing 20 of its namesake stores until after the first half of fiscal 2020 in order to sell more of their merchandise. As previously reported, Bed Bath & Beyond planned to close 60 locations, including 40 namesake stores, in fiscal 2019. 

Bed Bath & Beyond expects sales and profitability to remain under pressure during the fourth quarter. The company said it was withdrawing its full-year forecast because of “headwinds” and because of ongoing work by new CEO Mark Tritton to assess the business and finalize the details of the company's go-forward strategic plan.

Tritton, who left Target Corp. to take the reins of Bed Bath & Beyond in November, has wasted no time in making changes. In December, the company announced the departure of six members of its leadership team, including its chief merchandising officer, chief marketing officer and chief digital officer. 

In a statement, Tritton called the company’s third quarter performance “unsatisfactory and underscores the imperative for change and strengthens our sense of priorities and purpose.”

“We will be finalizing the details of our strategic plan over the next few months and appreciate your patience as we embark and pursue this journey to position Bed Bath & Beyond to deliver long-term, sustainable growth,” he stated. 

Bed Bath & Beyond reported a net loss of $38.6 million, or a loss of $0.31 per share, for the quarter ended Nov. 30, down from net earnings of $24.4 million, or $0.18 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, Bed Bath & Beyond lost $0.38 per share. Analysts had expected earnings of $0.02 per share.

Net sales fell 9% to $2.8 billion. Analysts had expected sales of $2.85 billion. Same-store sales declined 8.3%. The retailer said its sales performance was significantly impacted by the late Thanksgiving, which resulted in one less week of holiday sales compared to the prior-year period. Adjusting for the 2019 calendar shift, same-store sales declined 3.6% during the quarter.

As of November 30, 2019, the company had a total of 1,524 stores, including 981 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, 278 stores under the names of World Market, Cost Plus World Market or Cost Plus, 126 buybuy Baby stores, 81 stores under the names Christmas Tree Shops, Christmas Tree Shops andThat! or andThat!, 55 stores under the names Harmon, Harmon Face Values or Face Values, and three stores under the name One Kings Lane.

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