Bed Bath & Beyond Throws in the Towel

The retailer files for bankruptcy, beginning the process of closing its nearly 500 stores

Bed Bath and Beyond store in Norwalk closing.

miromiro / Getty Images

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), the beleaguered home goods retailer, has filed for bankruptcy after months of sounding the alarm and taking increasingly desperate measures to come up with enough cash just to stay afloat.

Key Takeaways

  • Bed Bath & Beyond filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, ending its months-long effort to remain liquid.
  • The company has begun a liquidation sale but will use bankruptcy proceedings to explore selling its assets.
  • Attempts to raise capital through convertible share sales, equity offerings, and reverse stock splits failed.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New Jersey on Sunday, beginning the process of winding down its business. The company has secured $240 million in debtor-in-possession financing with which it plans to finance operations at its nearly 500 stores during the bankruptcy proceedings.

"We deeply appreciate our associates, customers, partners, and the communities we serve, and we remain steadfastly determined to serve them throughout this process," said CEO Sue Gove in an announcement of the filing. "We will continue working diligently to maximize value for the benefit of all stakeholders."

Bed Bath & Beyond, once a thriving home goods retailer, struggled to adapt to a changing retail landscape dominated by e-commerce and everything stores like Amazon (AMZN). The company’s woes were exacerbated by the pandemic when physical stores became money pits and supply chain snarls wreaked havoc on inventory management.

The company has been sending up flares for months. The company first warned about bankruptcy in January, when it said widening quarterly losses and negative cash flow called into question its “ability to continue as a going concern.”

Bed Bath & Beyond missed a $25 million interest payment in February, sinking its shares almost 50%. The company was able to pay within the one-month grace period, avoiding being forced to immediately pay its entire $1 billion debt.

That same month the company tried to sell up to $1 billion worth of convertible shares and warrants in a last-ditch effort to shore up its finances. But the sale was scrapped late last month after grossing just a fraction of the goal.

Instead, Bed Bath & Beyond initiated an “at-the-market” offering of up to $300 million of stock. But by mid-March, the company's share price had dipped below $1 for the first time since 1992, the year of its IPO.

Bed Bath & Beyond stock price chart, 1 year period ending April 21, 2023.

The company was scheduled to hold a special meeting for shareholders in May to approve a reverse stock split.

Article Sources
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  2. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. "Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Completes Interest Payment for Senior Notes."

  3. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. "Preliminary Prospectus Supplement dated February 6, 2023."

  4. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. "Form 424B5 for Bed Bath & Beyond Inc filed 03/30/2023."

  5. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. "Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Addresses Important Information Ahead of Special Meeting of Shareholders on May 9, 2023."

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