Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. today announced plans to re-open more stores and further expand store fulfillment services as part of its phased approach to re-opening stores across North America, subject to state and local regulations. The Company plans to take the following steps by June 13:
- Re-open approximately 600 additional stores to the public, including approximately 500 Bed Bath & Beyond stores across North America, as well as around 50 Christmas Tree Shop stores and around 50 Cost Plus World Market stores in the US. In addition to buybuy BABY and Harmon Face Values stores, which remain open to serve essential infant, health and personal care needs, this means around 50% of the Company's total store fleet is expected to be open by June 13.
- Expand contactless curbside pickup services to approximately 1,350 stores in total, adding a further 600 additional locations. Contactless curbside will be available at approximately 90% of the Company's total store fleet across the US and Canada.
- Bring approximately 11,000 associates back from furlough as stores re-open to the public and services are expanded across North America.
Mark Tritton, President & CEO, said, "We continue to respond to the COVID-19 situation with measured, purposeful steps to help keep our people safe and our customers served. We recently launched our Store Safety Plan and are guided by our medical team and national, state and local guidance to help ensure customers can shop with us confidently.
"Customers across North America are already taking advantage of the ease and convenience of Buy-Online-Pick-Up-at Store (BOPIS) and contactless curbside pickup, and we're delighted to roll-out these services to over 1,000 store locations, as well as welcoming customers back into hundreds of our stores again as we start to re-open across the US and Canada.
"We're seeing strong online engagement from our loyal customers through this period. Over recent weeks in the US, traffic to our Bed Bath & Beyond website and mobile app is up approximately 30% and digital sales have doubled. Customers are also responding well to the launch of BOPIS and contactless curbside pickup, with these services accounting for a meaningful percentage of our Bed Bath & Beyond US digital sales in the last week, and we anticipate continued growth as we expand the service to more stores in the coming weeks.
"Our financial flexibility allows us to take this patient, market-by-market approach, while we invest in rebuilding our business and introducing new services for our loyal customers. I want to thank our dedicated teams for helping us resume operations safely and look forward to welcoming more of our team back into our business as we re-open more stores in the coming weeks."
Bed Bath & Beyond also announced a $10 million plan to donate essential items to those affected by COVID-19 this week. The 'Bringing Home Everywhere' program will deliver products that provide home comfort and essential support to communities and those on the frontline of the pandemic across the US and Canada.
Tritton continued, "Our homes have become even more central to our lives during this crisis, yet we know that for many people that sense of home has been affected by the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. We're doing what we can to bring home everywhere, creating comfort and providing essential support to communities suffering in the face of this pandemic. So, whether it's fresh sheets, pillows and towels for people in the hospital or nursing care, food and home items for those in need, or toys or essential infant supplies for children, we're doing what we can to make it easy to feel at home for those most in need at this time."
While the Company continues its measured approach to re-opening stores, it expects around half of its stores across its retail banners to remain closed to the public through June 13, 2020. In conjunction with the decision to further extend temporary store closures, Bed Bath & Beyond will also extend the furlough of the majority of store associates and a portion of corporate associates until at least June 13, 2020. As stores re-open during this period, the Company expects to bring approximately 11,000 associates back from furlough. The Company will continue to pay 100% of the cost of healthcare premiums for all furloughed associates who currently participate in the Company's health plan, until further notice.