According to The Wall Street Journal, Bed Bath & Beyond has an inventory problem. Many of its shelves are empty when they most need to be full. Strong holiday sales may be the only event that keeps the company out of bankruptcy.
The Journal further reports that the inventory trouble may be due to late payments (or no payments) from suppliers of important products. “Some suppliers who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they are still owed money and have paused shipments to the retailer until they get paid.” Earlier this year, management reported it had raised enough money to solve this problem. Perhaps they have not.
In August Bed Bath filed a notice with the SEC. It has set in place two financing facilities worth $875 million. These deals were revised earlier this month. Investors can fairly ask what happened to the money.
Closing stores was also meant to increase available cash.
Part of the money went to offset gruesome results, probably. In the most recently reported quarter, same-store sales dropped an extraordinary 28%. The company reported a net loss of $336 million, which is almost impossible for a public corporation its size. Sales for the year’s second half were expected to drop 20% from sales in the first half. This came on the heels of shuttering dozens of stores.
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It is too late for these financings to help. Bare shelves signal the company’s future as an independent operation. That means Chapter 11 or liquidation.
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