Bed, Bath and Beyond and buybuy Baby have announced that it will be closing all 65 stores in Canada. Be sure to use your gift cards before the stores permanently close.
In a page that we have seen used several times over the last years, an American retailer with operations in Canada heads into bankruptcy and no matter how viable the operations are north of the border, the receiver just wants to liquidate the Canadian assets to pay creditors.
And so it is for Bed, Bath and Beyond. The one location they have in Winnipeg is north of CF Polo Park next to Marshalls and Mark’s. As early as 2017, there was some indication that the U.S. retailer was not taking Amazon seriously and their online sales strategy was lacking. The stock buy backs and sales coupons ensured they were ill prepared for the COVID-19 outbreak.
One of the reasons Bed, Bath and Beyond was successful in the past was that the local manager had a lot of say in how the branch operated and stocked what they needed to be happy customers. The company had been profitable and used it to purchase companies like buybuy Baby, a branch of that company is on St. James St. According to reports 54 Bed, Bath and Beyonds are closing and 11 buybuy Baby stores. Total Canadian employees are just are 1,500.
In Winnipeg, the square footage could total 60,000 back up for lease whenever final inventory is cleared up. Linens and Things and Home Outfitters in years past have also collapsed. It is a tough market. The former location of Home Outfitters/Linen and Things is Oomomo, the Japanese lifestyle store.
As mentioned in other posts, there are no long line-ups to lease spaces anywhere in the city. And large box spaces are some of the hardest to fill.
Expect to see liquidation of stock at the Polo Park location of both Bed, Bath and Beyond and buybuy Baby. It will be interesting thereafter to see how long both spaces remain empty.
This has been a guest editorial by John Dobbin.
To read more from John, visit his blog Observations, Reservations, Conversations