Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY 1.70%) on Wednesday announced fiscal fourth-quarter results that started to show the negative impact of COVID-19 on its retailing network.
The fourth-quarter period ran through March 2, which doesn't include the widespread social distancing efforts that began about two weeks later. Still, the chain's sales fell 6%, translating into another quarter of modest market share loses. "These results strengthen our resolve," CEO Mark Tritton said in a press release, "to make the necessary, bold, and broad-based changes needed to modernize our business ."
The specialty retailer succeeded at reducing its inventory and raising cash over the past few months, especially as store closures began on April 2. With help from an additional $236 million loan from its credit facility, those moves brought its cash balances to $1.4 billion as of early March, or 39% above last year's mark.
Executives currently see stores beginning to reopen as early as May 2 but have stressed that the situation is still fluid. As a result, they declined to offer any financial forecasts for the new fiscal year except to say that Bed Bath & Beyond's results are likely to be heavily affected by COVID-19 and related containment efforts.