BBBY falling, from the moon

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Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) are sinking over 22% after the retailer announced it is laying off up to one-fifth of its workforce and closing 150 stores. The company also announced it is eliminating its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Stores Officer roles.

The decisions come as part of a broader restructuring effort for Bed Bath & Beyond, aimed at reducing costs and increasing profitability. The retailer has struggled in recent years, impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and declining consumer spending driven by rising inflation. Recent turnaround efforts have faltered as an attempt to sell more private-label goods proved unsuccessful. In June, the company fired its CEO, Mark Tritton, after reporting a 25% decline in first-quarter sales.

A Key Investor Departs

Adding to the retailer’s woes, activist investor Ryan Cohen announced in mid-August he had sold all his shares in Bed Bath & Beyond, and the company’s stock price plummeted 40% on the news. Cohen had purchased over 7 million shares of the company earlier this year, spearheading a restructuring effort and leading to a surge in retail investor interest. However, Cohen and his venture capital (VC) firm, RC Ventures, eventually exited their stake.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond are down 36% year-to-date, and have fallen nearly 90% from their all-time highs at the start of 2014.