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HomeBusiness NewsBed Bath & Beyond Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Bed Bath & Beyond Files for Bankruptcy Protection

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EAST HANOVER — Bed Bath & Beyond filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday, April 23, after the home goods retailer failed to secure funds to stay afloat and has begun a liquidation sale. The message posted on their website reads, “Thank you to all our loyal customers. We have made the difficult decision to begin winding down our operations. Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy Baby stores remain open to serve you.”

Sue Gove, President & CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., said, “Millions of customers have trusted us through the most important milestones in their lives – from going to college to getting married, settling into a new home to having a baby. Our teams have worked to support and strengthen our beloved banners, Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY. We deeply appreciate our associates, customers, partners, and the communities we serve, and we remain steadfastly determined to serve them throughout this process. We will continue working diligently to maximize value for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Area locations include East Hanover at 180 Route 10 West and 545 Route 46, Totowa.  The Parsippany store closed in the summer of 2019. (Crunch Fitness moved into the former location). Other New Jersey stores are Springfield, Union, Iselin, Bridgewater (already temporarily closed), and Clifton.

The buybuyBABY store in Rockaway Townsquare closed in January.

The Rockaway Mall buybuyBaby closed in January along with Princeton. At the same time Bed Bath & Beyond closed Paramus, Flanders, Manalapan, and Princeton with all the Harmon locations, including Parsippany.

The home goods retailer, which grew in popularity in the 1990s as a go-to shopping destination for couples making wedding registries and planning for new babies, has seen demand drop off in recent years as its merchandising strategy to sell more store-branded products flopped.

The corporate office is located in Union. According to a court filing, the retailer filed for bankruptcy in a District of New Jersey court, listing its estimated assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion and $10 billion.

While the retailer has begun a liquidation sale, it intends to use the Chapter 11 proceedings to conduct a limited sale and marketing process for some or all of its assets.

The company stated that its 360 Bed Bath & Beyond and 120 buybuy BABY stores and websites will remain operating and continue serving customers as it starts efforts to effect the closure of its retail locations.

Bed Bath & Beyond shelves are still loaded with merchandise in East Hanover.

Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein worked in management positions at Arlan’s discount store chain. As that company suffered financial difficulties, and the two believed that the market would shift toward specialty stores, they decided to leave and form their own company. In 1971, they opened a store in Springfield called Bed ‘n Bath. By 1985, Eisenberg and Feinstein operated 17 New York and California stores. Also, in 1985, the first superstore was opened to remain competitive with Linens ‘n Things, Pacific Linen, and Luxury Linens. To properly represent the size increase in its retail stores, the company changed its name to Bed Bath & Beyond in 1987. The company adopted integrated computer-based inventory management systems in 1993 to better compete with Linens ‘n Things, which had utilized computer inventory management since the late 1980s.

By 1991, Bed Bath & Beyond had opened seven new superstores in New Jersey, California, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, and Florida. By 2011, Bed Bath & Beyond had 1,142 stores.

The company went public in June 1992, making its IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange, where its stock continues to trade under the ticker symbol BBBY. Bed Bath & Beyond first reached $1 billion in annual sales in 1999.

As of 2019, Bed Bath & Beyond operated approximately 1,530 stores in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada. In addition to 1,020 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, the company operated approximately 280 Cost Plus World Markets, 100 Buy Buy Baby stores, roughly 80 Christmas Tree Shops (and related brands), and more than 50 Harmon stores.

In August 2022, the company announced the closure of 150 underperforming stores and reduced its corporate and supply chain staff by about 20%.

On September 2, 2022, Bed Bath & Beyond chief financial officer Gustavo Arnal committed suicide by jumping from his balcony on the 18th floor of 56 Leonard Street. Arnal was one of the targets of a class action concerning Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock becoming a pump-and-dump scheme.

The company opened in 2023, warning investors that it may not survive the year. On January 5, shares of the company plunged almost 30% on the stock market, and the company announced it had “substantial doubt” in continuing to operate as a business.

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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