Demand is improving in parts of Bed Bath & Beyond's (BBBY 2.12%) business. The specialist retailer said over the weekend that it has had to convert many of its stores into fulfillment centers to satisfy a sharp demand spike from its online sales channel. In fact, e-commerce revenue is up 85% in April.
The boost doesn't nearly offset lost revenue from its temporary store closures, which the company just extended until at least May 16 from the prior forecast of May 2. However, it has allowed the company to bring back hundreds of furloughed associates.
Bed Bath & Beyond has doubled its online capacity in recent weeks and is planning to pad those capabilities even more by adding additional quick-fulfillment choices across its network. These options will remain even after the COVID-19 threat fades and social distancing efforts are lifted.
"We're prioritizing the health and safety of our people, customers and communities by extending the temporary closures of most of our stores," CEO Mark Tritton said in a press release. "As well as serving our loyal customers online in their homes," he continued, "we will also expand the number of locations where customers can buy online and pick up at store, or simply drive up and enjoy contactless, curbside pickup."