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Inside Bed Bath & Beyond's Plan to Reduce Debt

By Jennifer Saibil – Aug 11, 2020 at 9:28AM

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Brisk business means more cash to buy back debt.

Big-box housewares retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY 1.70%) saw sinking sales for many years before ousting management in late 2019 and starting on a new path. The company seemed like it was at a nadir even before the coronavirus, which pushed sales down even further.

But the sun was already rising on the company's dark times as new CEO Mark Tritton put together a new management team and began executing on his plan to energize digital sales, gather cash, and refocus on core brands. Now that stores have reopened, sales are picking up, and with the closeout of PersonalizationMall.com, Bed Bath & Beyond has lifted the suspension of its debt reduction program.

Furnished bedroom.

Image source: Getty images.

Finally moving forward

In the first-quarter conference call in July, Tritton laid out many of the ways the company is seeing progress, including an 82% increase in digital sales, and curbside pickup available at 60% of stores. Management directed its full attention to staying liquid through store closures and closed the first quarter with $1.8 billion in available funds.

This included a suspension of debt reduction to ensure liquidity until it could pull in revenue, which has been happening with the reopening of stores. On Monday, Bed Bath & Beyond put out a tender offer to repurchase up to $300 million of debt at face value. 

The company had suspended its debt reduction program in light of economic conditions, and it also paused dividends and share repurchases. It said it will "evaluate when appropriate," so those may be restored soon as well. Shares fell on Monday after the announcement.

Jennifer Saibil has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Bed Bath & Beyond Stock Quote
Bed Bath & Beyond
BBBY
$3.60 (1.70%) $0.06

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