Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) is by no means out of the woods, but the home goods retailer reported that with most of its stores having reopened beginning in late May, same-store sales were able to turn positive, and -- arguably more importantly -- its cash flow was positive as well.

The company says it still thinks its physical stores are an asset that can help transform the business, but it is closing down as many 200 of them (about 20% of its real estate portfolio) over the next two years, as many of them were generating losses despite generating about $1 billion in annual sales.

Two women looking at pillows

Image source: Getty Images.

Easy come, easy go?

The ailing retailer offered up what can be at best charitably described as a disappointing first-quarter earnings report last week that saw in-store sales plunge 77% due to the pandemic. Although that was offset by an 82% surge in e-commerce sales, total revenue tumbled 49% from the year ago period.

The situation is improving now that retail stores have reopened, but business is still bad. Even with the positive comps in June, in-store sales were still down 25% for the month, and although digital sales were up over 80%, total revenue fell 7% for the period.

Bed Bath & Beyond is moving in the right direction, but now faces new mandated store closures in certain states. California, for example, just ordered most businesses in the state to immediately close again due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The home goods retailer had 174 stores located in California at the end of 2019, the most of any state and 11% of the total, suggesting the gains it experienced last month may be short-lived.