Just days after it was revealed that Bed Bath and Beyond will close stores in Canada, shoppers were waiting for the Coquitlam home goods retailer in Maillardville to open.
And when the Bed Bath and Beyond at 1175 Woolridge St. opened on time Monday, (Feb. 13) at 10 a.m., shoppers were greeted — not by sad faces — but by employees who gave them a big welcome.
One worker told the Tri-City News that staff are waiting to hear officially what happens next.
The Canadian division, which operates 54 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and 11 buybuy BABY stores is reportedly insolvent,
The Tri-City News has reached out to Bed Bath and Beyond to find out when employees will hear about their futures.
Challenging times for retailer
In the meantime, court filings reveal the struggles facing the U.S. company in re-organizing its finances after post-pandemic difficulties and challenges in finding a buyer for the Canadian brand.
"Faced with extremely limited funding and significant constraints upon its use of cash, the Bed Bath & Beyond Group has reluctantly concluded that there is not enough capital available (even with the lifeline provided by the Offering) to restructure both its business in the United States and properly resuscitate the Canadian business to achieve profitability," the filings reveal.
"BBB Canada is not profitable on a standalone basis," the Ontario Superior Court filing adds.
The filing is posted on the website of consultants Alvare & Marsal, which are monitoring the Canadian stores.
Declining year-over-year sales
It notes that Bed Bath and Beyond's troubles began in 2018 but have worsened throughout 2022 "with declining year-over-year sales in both the United States and Canada, multiple credit rating downgrades, cash flow constraints, and significant inventory reductions.
"Cash constraints caused delays and stoppages of merchandise shipments to BBB Canada’s stores, causing inventory levels to decrease dramatically."
The company had sought a buyer for the Canadian division and looked at alternatives, such as shutting down under-performing stores.
But there were too many obstacles, including lack of support from lenders, leading the company to make the difficult decision to close.
"BBB Canada is required to wind down its business in Canada," the filing states, adding:
"It has commenced these proceedings to obtain the flexibility and breathing space afforded by the CCAA (Companies Creditors Arrangement Act) to effect an orderly liquidation of its remaining inventory with assistance from a third-party professional liquidator and vacate its leased retail stores and premises."
This is not the first major home goods retailer to close in recent years.
Home Outfitters, which was previously located nearby at 1085 Woolridge St. shut down in 2019.
Asian grocery store T & T Supermarket is moving into the former Home Outfitters' Woolridge space but the store is not yet open and is still behind construction fencing.