Bed Bath & Beyond to eliminate nearly 1,300 jobs in NJ (updated)

Kimberly Redmond//March 27, 2023

Bed Bath & Beyond to eliminate nearly 1,300 jobs in NJ (updated)

Kimberly Redmond//March 27, 2023

Bed Bath & Beyond plans to cut about 1,300 jobs at four locations in its home state of New Jersey as part of the struggling home goods retailer’s efforts to rebuild its business.

According to a notice filed with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the layoffs will impact 572 employees at an e-commerce fulfillment center in Port Reading, effective March 28, and 84 jobs at a warehouse in Secaucus, effective April 5.

Additionally, Bed Bath & Beyond reported it will eliminate 377 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Union, effective April 9.

The filing also identified 262 positions at a warehouse in Totowa associated with Harmon Stores Inc., a discount health and beauty chain owned by Bed Bath & Beyond. In January, the company announced plans to close its entire fleet of 50 Harmon stores.

“As shared in our strategic update in February, we are moving expeditiously toward a smaller and more profitable store footprint and omni-always model. The difficult but necessary decision to reduce our workforce is one of many important actions we are taking to enable Bed Bath & Beyond to improve our financial position and serve our customers well into the future,” a Bed Bath & Beyond spokesperson told NJBIZ. “Related decisions were communicated to Associates at the time and store closing information on our website remains up to date.”

The workforce reduction comes ahead of a change in New Jersey labor laws that will require companies with 100 or more full-time workers to notify them 90 days in advance of layoffs, closings or transfers that will result in 50 or more employees losing their jobs. Under the federal WARN act, employers must only give 60 days’ notice.

Once the amendment goes into effect April 10, New Jersey will become the first state in the nation to enact a law guaranteeing severance pay in the wake of mass layoffs.

While the bill’s supporters have said the changes are meant to protect employees who are often left jobless and without severance compensation, business leaders and advocacy groups around the state have expressed concerns about the impact the new law will have on the state’s economy.

Bed Bath & Beyond store closing
Ultimately, Bed Bath & Beyond plans to keep 480 brick-and-mortar stores in business – 360 of its namesake brand and 120 Buybuy Baby stores. – DAWN FURNAS

Despite implementing a turnaround plan in August 2022 that called for closing 150 lower-performing stores and laying off 20% of its corporate and supply chain workforce, Bed Bath & Beyond issued a bleak warning in January—it may need to file for bankruptcy protection.

Since then, the company says it has taken steps to improve its footing, which include working with suppliers to increase inventory levels and paying off outstanding interest payments.

The company has also made moves to shrink its brick-and-mortar footprint even further, starting with its entire chain of Harmon stores and its business operations in Canada. Additionally, it announced the closure of 150 more stores, on top of the 250 locations that are going dark. Ultimately, Bed Bath & Beyond plans to keep 480 units in business – 360 of its namesake brand and 120 Buybuy Baby stores.

Altogether, the company has closed 400 stores, roughly half of the 950 locations it had in February 2022.

After securing a last-minute equity deal to help avoid near-term bankruptcy, Bed Bath & Beyond President and Chief Executive Officer Sue Gove has said the company remains focused on “resetting our operational and financial foundation.”

So far, Bed Bath & Beyond has received a total of $360 million as part of a roughly $1 billion financing package aimed at helping it pursue a turnaround. It recently amended the terms of that equity offering to raise an additional $100 million.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3:17 p.m. ET March 27, 2023, to include a statement from a Bed Bath & Beyond spokesperson.