BBB: Temporary store closings take 42% bite out of sales
Union, N.J. – Online sales are surging, but with just 170 physical stores still operating, total sales are plunging across Bed Bath & Beyond's stable of retail chains.
On March 20, the company temporarily closed over 50% of its stores across all banners to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That left the lights on at approximately 700 stores selling essential items such as healthcare, personal care, infant care, cleaning supplies or food and beverages. However, within a week, BBB shuttered all retail banners across the U.S. and Canada except for buybuy Baby and Harmon stores. Those temporary store closures remain in effect at least through May 2.
During BBB's fourth quarter sales call yesterday, the company reported that for the first two weeks of April, the fiscal quarter-to-date overall decline in total net sales was around 42%, primarily due to the additional temporary store closures.
However, net sales from digital channels generated year-over-year growth of more than 35%. In addition, growth at bedbathandbeyond.com jumped more than 90% to-date in April.
Ahead of yesterday's release of fourth quarter and fiscal year results, the retail conglomerate in February previewed its Q4 comp performance in but not total sales or profit.
For the fourth quarter ended Feb. 29, net loss narrowed to $65.4 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, from a net loss of $253.8 million, or $1.92 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter.
Sales fell 6.1% to $3.1 billion. Total comp declined 5.6%, with a 10.0% decrease in store comp offset by a 16% jump in digital comp.
For the full fiscal year, net loss expanded to $613.8 million, or $4.94 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $137.2 million, or $1.02 per diluted share in the previous fiscal year.
Net sales for the year declined 7.2% to $11.2 billion, with comp down 6.8% year over year.
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