As the coronavirus crisis continues, Bed Bath & Beyond is one of the only retail stores to stay open regardless of many stores closing down shop. However, late Thursday, they announced that they will be temporarily closing half of their stores. They will close around 800 stores until April 3rd and will continue to pay their employees during that span of time.
Another 700 stores will continue to operate under shortened business hours. This also includes buybuy BABY, Harmon Face Value, and Bed Bath & Beyond stores that have health/personal care departments.
Bed Bath & Beyond to close half of its stores temporarily
CEO Mark Tritton releases a statement on this situation. “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,” he says.
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The company was very slow to announce store closures as other stores announced to their customers that they would be closing. These stores include Macy’s, Nordstrom, JCPenney, TJX, and the parent company of TJMaxx and Marshalls. Kohl’s also made plans to close stores Thursday. As of right now, grocery stores, pharmacies, and wholesale clubs remain open for business.
Officials and employees alike express frustrations with stores continuing to be open
The National Retail Federation actually sent President Donald Trump a letter requesting that he clarify which stores can remain open. “There remains a need for clear national guidance to resolve questions caused by a number of conflicting state and local orders,” the group says.
Leonard Marcus is the co-director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health. He says that stores like Bed Bath & Beyond remaining open “does raise the risks to employees and customers. We are at a dangerous point in the spread of the coronavirus.”
The employees at Bed Bath & Beyond stores have been urging stores to close down. “We have no idea what is going on, we feel abandoned, and all our district and regional support are working from home,” says one Connecticut employee. “Associates are scared, frustrated, and have lost faith in the company to do the right thing and support us.”