Whether you’re in it for the seemingly endless coupons or just appreciate the convenience of a one-stop home goods shop, Bed Bath & Beyond remains a beloved retailer for its budget-friendly prices and wide selection. After all, not many stores carry everything from sheets and towels to microwaves and holiday decorations. But if you’re a regular shopper, you may have noticed one significant change that’s taken place recently. And now, Bed Bath & Beyond is facing some major backlash for it. Read on to see what has some people heated about the shopping experience.
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The COVID-19 pandemic created serious challenges for retailers of all sizes, forcing companies to change their models as foot traffic dwindled and sales moved online. Unfortunately, Bed Bath & Beyond appears to be one of the major players that still seems to be struggling with the challenges.
In January, the retailer announced that it would be closing 37 stores that were underperforming in sales by the end of February, CNBC reported. The news came on the heels of a dismal quarterly report from the company on Jan. 6 that showed a large sales decline, including during the typically busy holiday season, The Wall Street Journal reported. Overall, the chain saw sales fall seven percent during the last quarter, while net sales fell 28 percent compared to the same quarter in the previous year. And now, it appears the retailer is facing a new set of issues as it comes under fire for reportedly making a change to its in-person shopping experience.
In addition to shuttering stores, the retailer may be dealing with another hot issue. In a recent report, analysts at Bank of America accused Bed Bath & Beyond of cutting air conditioning as a cost-saving effort amid the company’s financial woes, cnn reports.
When reached for comment, the company said that any individual location’s decision to tweak the thermostat was did not reflect a call to do so on a company-wide level. “We’ve been contacted about this report, and to be clear, no Bed Bath & Beyond stores were directed to adjust their air conditioning and there have been no corporate policy changes in regard to utilities usage,” a representative told CNN.
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On top of that alleged summertime sin, the report also claimed that the retailer is showing unfortunate signs of distress with other recent changes, including cuts to employee hours, canceled remodeling projects, and dropped or replaced rewards programs. Analysts also report that the stores will be reducing their hours when they push opening back from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in July, per The New York Post.
“From our store visits, we believe that Bed Bath & Beyond is trying to quickly trim expenses to align costs with [sales] declines,” according to the Bank of America report.
Outside experts said that the findings say a lot about the company’s recent trajectory. “It’s not surprising that they might look for incremental ways to save money, because the sales trends are not going in their favor,” John Tomlinson, an analyst for M Science, told The Post.
Unfortunately, there still hasn’t been much in the way of good news for Bed Bath & Beyond since the Bank of America report first surfaced. On June 29, the company announced that sales had dropped by 25 percent in the first quarter of 2022, Axios reports. In the same announcement, the company also said it was replacing CEO Mark Tritton with current board member Sue Gove as the company’s interim leader.
Despite the official changes, the new leadership admits the company has a lot of work to do to turn things around—especially in the current economic climate. “I believe a lot of this work is best done in a back-to-basics mantra that prioritizes knowing our customer and delivering the experience they deserve wherever they interact with us,” Gove said during an earnings call with analysts on June 29, per Axios.