Bed Bath and Beyond faces new crisis
Bed Bath and Beyond’s top executive died at the spot, two days after announcing a new round of store closures and layoffs.
The company has confirmed that their chief financial officer Gustavo Arnal passed away on Friday.
In a statement, independent chair of Bed Bath and Beyond’s board of directors, Harriet Edelman, said Arnal’s talent and leadership capabilities will be missed.
Edelman said in a statement “I am proud to have been his colleague, and he will be truly missed by all of us at Bed Bath and Beyond and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, our focus is on supporting his family and his team and our thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time.”
Arnal, who was 52 years old was found unresponsive and unconscious. He had died at the scene from an injury he sustained.
Arnal “appeared to suffer from injuries indicative from a fall from an elevated position,” the NYPD said in a statement.
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The Medical Analyst in New York City, who was contacted by NPR on Sunday, claimed that the death was a suicide.
After experiencing a period of sinking sales and leadership changes, Bed Bath & Beyond is announcing a plan to re-energize the company and cut their workforce. They will shutter stores as well.
Previously having worked at Walgreens, Proctor & Gamble, Boots Alliance and Avon, in 2020 Arnal joined Bed Bath & Beyond.
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In a statement Bed Bath and Beyond said “(Arnal) was instrumental in guiding the organization throughout the coronavirus pandemic, transforming the Company’s financial foundation and building a strong and talented team.”
Leonard Feinstein and Warren Eisenberg worked at a discount store chain when it was nearing financial distress. They knew that the market was shifting towards specialty stores, so the two of them decided to leave their jobs and start their own company
In 1985, to face the competition from Luxury Linen, Pacific Linens and Linens n Things, the opened several superstores. That year the first store opened in New Jersey with 17 stores in total and they aimed to provide customers with unique customer service that is often not found at other retailers.
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In 1987, the company increased their size and changed its name to Bed Bath & Beyond. Integrated computer-based inventory management systems were used in 1993 to face the competition from Linens ‘n Things, which had been using computers since the late 1980s.
In 1991, Bed Bath & Beyond opened seven new superstores in California, New Jersey,Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, and Florida. Bed Bath & Beyond by 2011, had 1,142 stores.
Bed, Bath and Beyond has done $1 billion in annual sales since 1999. The company went public on the NASCAP stock exchange in 1992.
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Legion Partners, Ancora Advisors and Marcellum Advisors, three investment firms are intending to remove Steven Temares, current CEO and restructure Bed Bath & Beyond’s current board of directors.
The activist investors had mentioned that they observed there were several instances of nepotism at Bed Bath & Beyond, such as the acquisition of Buy Buy Baby, which was founded by two Bed Bath and Beyond co-founders, and the acquisition of Chef Central, which was created by a Bed Bath & Beyond co-founder’s son.
This led to stepping down of 5 independent directorson 22nd April 2019 and reduction of directors to 10 from 12 previously.
A company report claims that on April 13, 2019, the chain would close 40 stores and open 15 new locations.
Steve Temares stepped down as CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond on May 13th. Mary Winston replaced him as interim CEO and continued offering assistance to activist investors.
Mark Tritton, the ex- chief merchandising officer of Target, joined Bed Bath and Beyond as CEO on Nov 4, 2019.
The company announced in April 2019 that it would reduce its use of coupons. They had used coupons and other promotional discounting tactics for decades. With declining profitability, the company also announced it would create private label brands and open stores that focus on home decor, food and drink, and health and beauty products.
As of 2019, Bed Bath and Beyond operated approximately 1,530 stores in all 50 US states and Puerto Rico. In Canada, they operate in few districts.
There are more than 1,020 Bed Bath and Beyond and 280 Cost Plus World Market stores in addition to 80 Christmas Tree Shops.
The company announced it will close more than 200 stores, about 21% of its available resources, over a two-year period because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bed Bath & Beyond will no longer carry MyPillow. After the January 6 United States Capitol attack, the CEO of MyPillow announced his intent to overturn the 2020 presidential election and Bed Bath & Beyond cited poor sales as the reason for dropping them.
Bed Bath & Beyond was the subject of meme in 2020 by retail investors.
In 2022, Ryan Cohen, former CEO of Chewy, sent an open letter to the Board of Directors to call for Buy Buy Baby to either be sold or spun off at a favorable valuation. In exchange, Bed Bath & Beyond reached a deal to give three seats on their board to Ryan Cohen in exchange for his cooperation and the creation of a committee that would execute his proposed plan.
In July 2022, the FCM representative of BBBY Holdings sent a letter to the Board of Directors with a proposed plan to help reduce debt and improve liquidity by issuing convertible bonds.