Bed Bath & Beyond closing more Connecticut stores
Bed Bath & Beyond is closing several more Connecticut stores, after declaring default on debt it owes creditors and not ruling out a bankruptcy filing.
The home goods retailer is closing stores in Fairfield, Southington, Wethersfield and Enfield, the company confirmed. Dozens more stores are slated to close in New York and New Jersey.
Bed Bath & Beyond had already targeted stores in Stamford and Hamden for closure last year, as the company looked to slash expenses with loans hitting their repayment dates. Earlier this month, the company announced it would default on some of its debt.
The newest closures leave Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Norwalk, Brookfield, Guilford, Simsbury and Manchester.
The store shells could generate appeal among expansionminded retailers or other venues looking for spacious properties with plenty of elbow space and parking. Previously a bowling alley, the Fairfield store totals more than 34,000 square feet, with walls nearly 20 feet high and vaulted ceilings. That is quadruple the size of the next largest available retail space in Fairfield.
“Too early to tell but the site lends itself to a variety of potential uses,” said Mark Barnhart, Fairfield’s director of economic development, in an email response to a CT Insider query.
On Tuesday, Bed Bath & Beyond was advertising 20 percent off all remaining items in the Fairfield store. A steady stream of shoppers swung through to check out remaining merchandise, with some shelves already bare though Bed Bath & Beyond has been using store exits as outlets to clear out excess inventory.
Heading into the 2022 holidays, however, the company had been dealing with inventory shortages amid “an acceleration in vendor payment terms and credit line constraints” in the words of CEO Sue Gove, who spoke to investment analysts two weeks ago.
“We have already leveraged the liquidity gained from the holiday season to pursue more inventory and higher in-stock levels with support from our key vendors,” Gove said. “Our customers are still coming to us for their needs.”
With consumer spending still strong amid an otherwise slowing economy, Bed Bath & Beyond employees have the prospect of a strong jobs market to land on their feet. The company has not stated how many jobs are being cut in the aggregate; in a filing with the state of New York under the provisions of the Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, Bed Bath & Beyond reported it is cutting 57 jobs as the result of a store closure in Elmsford, N.Y.
No Bed Bath & Beyond notice was on the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website as of Tuesday morning, with WARN rules requiring companies to alert DOL of mass layoffs impacting a significant percentage of their worker base, helping DOL coordinate training for employees for new careers.