Bed, Bath & Beyond Is Going Into Default

( Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond is closing another 87 stores as the company inches closer to bankruptcy, CNN reported on Wednesday.

As of February 2022, Bed Bath & Beyond had 953 stores remaining from its 2017 peak of 1,552 stores. In the past year, the company has announced plans to close over 200 additional stores.

In August, Bed Bath & Beyond announced the closure of 150 locations. The closures announced this week include 5 buybuy Baby locations and all 49 remaining Harmon Face Value cosmetic stores in addition to more of the flagship Bed Bath & Beyond stores nationwide.

In a regulatory finding last week, Bed Bath & Beyond warned the Securities and Exchange Commission that it received a notice of default from lender JPMorgan Chase. The company said it did not have “sufficient resources to repay the amounts under the credit facilities” which would lead Bed Bath and Beyond “to consider all strategy alternatives,” including debt restructuring.

According to the SEC filing, the company defaulted “on or around” January 13 which could force it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

This week, a company spokesperson confirmed that Bed Bath & Beyond missed a bond payment due on February 1 and is now in the grace period in which debtors are given 30 days to make payments before they default.

While the spokesperson did not say how much Bed Bath & Beyond owes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the company “failed to pay more than $28 million on three tranches of notes totaling roughly $1.2 billion” that was due on February 1.

The store closings will not only reduce employees and salaries but will also reduce the amount of rent the company pays. Bed Bath & Beyond’s total store square footage dropped by 36 percent in the four fiscal years ending in February 2022.

Founded in 1971, Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled to transition to online shopping in recent years to compete against larger chains like Walmart and Target. In 2018, the retailer began making small cuts. But in the first year of the pandemic, it began closing hundreds of its Bed Bath & Beyond locations while getting rid of some of its weaker stores like the Christmas Tree Shops.