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Bed Bath & Beyond to close 2 Long Island locations

Bed Bath & Beyond will close two Long

Bed Bath & Beyond will close two Long Island stores, including this one at 340 Walt Whitman Rd. in South Huntington seen in October 2017. Credit: Google Maps

Bed Bath & Beyond is shuttering two Long Island stores this fall, months after the retailer said it would close about 40 stores by the end of fiscal 2018 if it couldn’t negotiate more favorable leases.

The local stores closing are in Huntington Shopping Center at 340 Walt Whitman Rd. in South Huntington and at Bay Harbour Mall, a shopping center at 365 Rockaway Tpke. in Inwood, the home goods retailer said.

Employees at the stores said they will close in November.

The leases are ending for those locations, spokeswoman Jessica Joyce said.

“As we recreate the foundational structure of our company over the next several years, our stores remain a critical part of the equation to achieving our growth objectives. We remain focused on optimizing our real estate portfolio, including the potential closing of stores and/or the sale of real estate assets, along with the opening of some new stores,” she said.

Joyce did not respond to inquiries about how many employees would be affected.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., headquartered in Union, New Jersey, has 1,024 stores in North America, including 13 on Long Island. The 47-year-old company’s other stores include the Buy Buy Baby chain, which sells clothes, furniture and other items for infants and toddlers, and Cost Plus World Market, which sells home decor.

In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in July, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. said it had slowed the pace of its store openings and increased its number of closings over the past several years.

At that time, the company said it had about 400 stores whose leases would be up for renewal in the next two years, including about 270 Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

“In fiscal 2018, the company expects to close approximately 40 stores, unless it is able to negotiate more favorable lease terms with its landlords, and open approximately 20 new stores, with the majority being [Buy Buy] Baby and Cost Plus World Market stores,” the company said in the filing.

Rockville, Maryland-based Federal Realty Investment Trust, which operates the Huntington Shopping Center, said it does not comment on tenant business and directed all inquiries to Bed Bath & Beyond.

Manhattan-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which operates Bay Harbour Mall, did not respond to requests for comment.

Bed Bath & Beyond has too many stores, given how the current retail environment is being pressured by online retailers such as Amazon and Wayfair, said Jaime Katz, an equity analyst at Morningstar Investment Service in Chicago.

Morningstar expects Bed Bath & Beyond to close 300 stores in the next decade, she said. It's imperative for brick-and-mortar stores to strategically optimize their footprint, she added.

During nine of the last 10 quarters, Bed Bath & Beyond has posted declines in same-store sales, which compares sales at stores open at least one year, Katz said.

Same-store sales decreased by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of the company’s 2018 fiscal year, which ended June 2.

Another issue is that online competition is reducing Bed Bath & Beyond’s pricing power — more options are available for substituting products with comparable goods, Katz said.

“A coffee pot is a coffee pot,” she said.

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