Bed Bath & Beyond Has ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Its Future

Bed Bath & Beyond, the beleaguered home goods retailer, warned investors on Thursday about the darkening prospects for its future, saying that bankruptcy was a possible option.

The company reported preliminary earnings, noting lower sales and slower foot traffic compared to the prior year. The company said its sales were about $1.3 billion for the quarter ending Nov. 26, about a third lower than the year before. The period included the run-up to Black Friday.

The retailer estimated that it would record a loss of $386 million in its latest quarter, much worse than the $276 million loss in the previous year, and said it would need more time than expected to close its books. The company’s share price tumbled 17 percent in premarket trading.

“The company has concluded that there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” Bed Bath & Beyond said in a statement.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s chief executive, Sue Gove, who formally took over in October, said in the statement that despite “more productive merchandise plans and improved execution,” suppliers had continued to hold back, resulting in lower levels of in-stock items.

The retailer in August laid out an aggressive plan to turn itself around that included 150 store closings, cost cuts and layoffs. It has also been working to mend ties with suppliers who have lost confidence in the company, which had about 1,000 stores before its latest restructuring. Bed Bath & Beyond employed 32,000 people as of February 2022, and said in October it had closed about half of the stores it planned to shut.

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