- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2022

If you thought it felt a bit steamier the last time you went to Bed, Bath & Beyond, you wouldn’t be alone.

A new report from Bank of America says that the retailer has been turning down its air conditioning as a cost-savings measure in light of struggling sales, according to CNN.

That goes with a bleak overall picture for the company.

CNN reported that the Bank of America analysts who visited stores observed that labor hours were being cut, store hours were being reduced and remodeling projects were canceled, as well as the scaled back utilities — which Bed, Bath & Beyond said was not a top-down order.

“We’ve been contacted about this report, and to be clear, no Bed Bath & Beyond stores were directed to adjust their air conditioning and there have been no corporate policy changes in regard to utilities usage,” a representative told CNN.

The purported utilities cuts don’t seem to be changing things for the better.

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The analysts anticipate that even with widespread price reductions and customer-friendly promotions, more store closures are coming, and the store openings of sister brand Buy Buy Baby will be paused, according to CNN.

Store traffic is on track to decrease 30% year-over-year, CNN reported, with sales expected to follow up the first quarter’s 22% drop with another 20% reduction.

Still, CNN said that a separate group of analysts at Riley Securities believe that the rebound plan instituted by CEO Mark Tritton a few years back will eventually bear fruit.

“The turnaround is taking longer than expected to come to fruition due to supply chain challenges and entering a more challenging retail operating environment,” Riley Securities analysts wrote, but “we think Bed, Bath & Beyond is heading in the right direction.”

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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