Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Will Bed Bath & Beyond File For Bankruptcy? Retailer Says It Has ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future

Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY) is facing its biggest crisis yet, as the embattled retail company is running out of cash fast and may have no choice but to declare bankruptcy.

The company released a statement Thursday, expressing the “substantial doubt” growing throughout its leaders that they will be able to right the ship.

Bed Bath & Beyond stores have seen fewer shoppers and declining sales for years, struggling to find their footing through a series of poorly timed or otherwise lackluster turnaround strategies, and rising competition from online retailers.

The company said it’s exploring financial options such as restructuring, seeking additional capital, or selling assets, in addition to potentially filing for bankruptcy. Any move would likely not provide the cash needed to cover its lease agreements and payments to suppliers.

With roughly 900 stores throughout the country Bed Bath & Beyond reported disappointing sales numbers for the quarter ending right after Black Friday, coming in at $1.3 billion, which is nearly a third lower than the year before.

Shares plunged more than 20% in morning trading after the company’s announcement, and the retailer estimates that it will record a loss of $386 million in its latest quarter, much worse than the $276 million loss in the previous year. Its market value has fallen to $162.1 million.

The company plans to offer further details on Jan. 10, when it was scheduled for a financial report to investors.

One thing is clear from Thursday’s statement — executives do not have confidence in pulling the company out of this hole.

“These measures may not be successful,” the company said, referring to its possible restructuring or bankruptcy declaration.

The retailer laid out an aggressive plan in August to turn itself around that included 150 store closings, cost cuts, and layoffs. In addition, Sue Gove, who is leading the turnaround after the departure of the New Jersey-based company’s prior chief executive Mark Tritton, has been working to mend ties with suppliers who have lost confidence in the company.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s latest crisis only adds to the turmoil the company has fought through in recent years. Store closures and job cuts are only the surface of the saga, further inflamed by the suicide of its executive vice president and chief financial officer Gustavo Arnal in 2022.

Among its current challenges, Bed Bath & Beyond is having trouble getting enough merchandise to fill its shelves and is drawing fewer customers to its stores and website. This problem in part led to the ousting of Tritton, whose plans to reinvigorate the company were derailed in part by supply chain hangups and changes that fell flat with shoppers, including a push toward branded merchandise.

Gove emphasized her focus on a turnaround on Thursday, stating the company continues to look at improving its inventory, online operations, and financial position.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond plummeted on Thursday to close at $1.69, down $0.72, or 29.88%.

“Bed Bath & Beyond is too far gone to be saved in its present form,” GlobalData Retail analyst Neil Saunders said Thursday in a note to clients. “All of this points to bankruptcy as being the most likely outcome.”

The post Will Bed Bath & Beyond File For Bankruptcy? Retailer Says It Has ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future appeared first on International Business Times.


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