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Bed Bath & Beyond files for bankruptcy protection

Bed Bath & Beyond closing all stores
Bed Bath & Beyond going out of business after bankruptcy filing 01:53

Bed Bath & Beyond has filed for bankruptcy protection, the company said Sunday.

The beleaguered home goods chain made the filing Sunday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, listing its estimated assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion and $10 billion. The move comes after the company failed to secure funds to stay afloat.

In a statement, the company based in Union, New Jersey, said it voluntarily made the filing "to implement an orderly wind down of its businesses while conducting a limited marketing process to solicit interest in one or more sales of some or all of its assets."

The firm said its 360 Bed Bath & Beyond and 120 Buy Buy Baby stores and websites will remain open for the time being and continue serving customers as it "begins its efforts to effectuate the closure of its retail locations." In its filing, the company said, "it is appropriate to close and wind down all 475 remaining brick-and-mortar stores," and that it expects this process to be completed by the end of June.

A Bed Bath & Beyond logo seen on a retail store front in Hagerstown, Maryland, on April 5, 2018. Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA

The company said it also intends to uphold commitments to customers, employees and partners.

Earlier this year, Bed, Bath & Beyond announced it would be shuttering 87 stores in 2023 in an effort to stave off bankruptcy. The chain closed 150 locations last year, while laying off thousands of workers. The company now has 360 locations, Business Insider reported. That's compared to the company peak of 1,560 locations in 2017.

Mired in a prolonged sales slump, the retail chain has struggled to attract customers both in stores and online. Retail experts told CBS News in February that the once-popular retailer doomed itself years ago as a result of bad business decisions, including buying back too much of its own stock, being slow to transition to e-commerce and introducing private label products that few customers wanted.   

Late to e-commerce

Bed Bath & Beyond opened as a privately held business in 1971 and went public in 1992. As the U.S. economy boomed, the company had a 15-year run of earnings that met or beat Wall Street expectations. But its momentum slowed with the explosion of online shopping. 

E-commerce was already taking off by the early 2000s, and consumers embraced online shopping for home goods starting around 2010, one expert told CBS MoneyWatch. Bed Bath & Beyond finally hopped on the e-tailing bandwagon after naming Mark Tritton, a former top Target executive, CEO in 2019. But by then the company was nearly a decade behind leaders in the field.

In a last-ditch move, the company tried to raise $1 billion in February by selling more shares in a public offering, with executives saying the cash would help avoid bankruptcy and pay down debt. But the effort proved a dud with investors. 

For a time, Bed Bath & Beyond surged last year as Ryan Cohen, the billionaire founder of online pet food company Chewy, bought more than 7 million shares in the company and retail investors turned the company into a so-called meme stock. Cohen sold his holdings last summer in a move that netted him $178 million while triggering a selloff.

The company made headlines again in September when its former chief financial officer died unexpectedly after jumping from a skyscraper in New York. 

Khristopher Brooks contributed to this report.

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