Business

Future uncertain for area Bed, Bath and Beyond stores amid news of closures

Workers lower a letter into place on the sign for the Bed Bath and Beyond store at First Avenue and Collins Road NE in Cedar Rapids as it prepared to open in 2000. (The Gazette)
Workers lower a letter into place on the sign for the Bed Bath and Beyond store at First Avenue and Collins Road NE in Cedar Rapids as it prepared to open in 2000. (The Gazette)

Bed Bath and Beyond expects to close at least 40 of its 994 stores nationwide, executives said this week, citing lease negotiations.

It’s uncertain whether any of the retailer’s nine Iowa locations, including stores in Cedar Rapids and Coralville, will be affected.

Managers for the Cedar Rapids and Coralville locations said thy could not comment on whether their stores would close. Corporate officials did not return a call and emails requesting comment.

The Union, N.J.-based retailer is undergoing a “comprehensive review” of its corporate practices. Last week announced it named a new lead director for its board, Patrick Gaston, alongside a report showing a net loss of $253.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Executives said Bed Bath and Beyond anticipates opening 15 new stores and has experimented with 21 “next-generation lab stores,” intended to “re-imagine the store experience” with a greater focus on home decor, food and beverage, health and beauty care, the SEC report said.

Three partnered activist funds announced in late March they had built an approximately 5 percent stake in the company and are aiming to replace the company’s entire board of directors and CEO, in part because of its fiscal performance.

The chain has some 65,000 employees nationwide.

• Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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