Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. announced on Thursday its business response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Union-based retailer said it will temporarily close more than 50% of its nonessential stores across all its banners within the United States and Canada to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. This includes a majority of its core Bed Bath & Beyond retail stores.
It will continue to operate stores that sell essential items, such as health care, personal care, infant care, cleaning supplies and food and beverage.
“In this time of great uncertainty, our first priority is the welfare of our customers and associates. We are therefore taking this decisive action to help keep our communities safe, while continuing to serve our loyal customers with the essential cleaning, health and personal care products that they and their families need at this time. We will continue to adapt and be responsive as our customer needs change, and in line with public health guidance and regulations,” Mark Tritton, CEO and president, said.
Effective Friday, the company said it will:
- Close about 800 stores until April 3 that do not have a health and personal care department;
- Operate limited hours at around 700 essential stores;
- Establish more health and safety policies, including enhanced cleaning routes, frequent cleaning of surfaces and social distancing;
- Extending e-commerce and distribution capabilities.
During the period, associates will be provided with pay and applicable benefits.
“Our mission is to make it easy for our customers to feel at home and we remain committed to delivering for them, however we can, during this difficult time,” Tritton said. “We have a remarkable team and robust contingency plans, supported by a strong balance sheet, to navigate this unprecedented challenge.”