In an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO Steven Temares suggested that reducing its brick-and-mortar store count may be in the retailer's future. Temares cited roughly 80 to 100 store leases that will be coming up for renewal in the near future as potential targets for closure. Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled with declining traffic in its stores, and is looking to digital as a way to recapture those lost sales. The Union, New Jersey-based company said profits in the first quarter dropped more than 30 percent from a year ago, and comparable-store sales — those at locations open at least 12 months — fell 2 percent.
Total Retail's Take: As a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer, with over 1,500 stores across the country, Bed Bath & Beyond has been trying to beat the odds and make a profit without having to close stores, but it seems that's not going to work. Reduced foot traffic to its stores, many of which are in malls, is forcing Bed Bath & Beyond to have to make some tough decisions about its future. Much like Macy's, Sears, J.C. Penney and other enterprise retailers with a nationwide network of stores, it would make sense for Bed Bath & Beyond to trim its store count, keeping its high-performing and profitable stores open. Investing in digital operations and offering a seamless omnichannel customer experience will be key to Bed Bath & Beyond's future.