It’s not every day that millions of square feet of retail space hit the market, but such is the case as Bed Bath & Beyond prepares to shutter the doors of 360 of its home furnishings locations and an additional 120 of its buybuy BABY stores across the United States. It might seem like news of Bed Bath & Beyond’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and subsequent plan to close all of its stores would re-ignite fears of the death of brick-and-mortar that plagued the industry in the face of the pandemic-expedited explosion in e-commerce. However, a notable list of big-box retailers is coming to the fore to backfill some of the abandoned square footage.
Reports are emerging that the likes of TJ Maxx, Ross, and HomeGoods are stepping forward to claim some of the currently and soon-to-be vacated Bed Bath & Beyond stores. At the River City Marketplace in North Jacksonville, Florida, HomeGoods will set up shop in a 25,000-square-foot Bed Bath & Beyond anchor space. The owner of the shopping center, RPT Realty, notes in a recent investor update that of the eight Bed Bath & Beyond stores in its retail portfolio, four of the locations are part of advanced-stage lease negotiations.
Bed Bath & Beyond has been in the process of downsizing its footprint for quite some time and had already closed roughly 400 stores between September 2022 and its bankruptcy announcement. And, slowly but surely, other retailers have been inking deals for the houseware retailer’s locations. TJ Maxx celebrated its grand opening at Watertown Towne Center in Watertown, N.Y., having inked a 10-year lease for the former Bed Bath & Beyond space at the retail destination.
Despite Bed Bath & Beyond’s troubles, some retailers are expanding and the U.S. retail market is, well, doing just fine. The retail real estate availability rate dropped to 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2023, according to research from CBRE, and net absorption remained positive for the 10th consecutive quarter. Neighborhood and community shopping centers (particularly those that are anchored by grocery stores) where many a Bed Bath & Beyond store is on the roster, remain in high demand among retailers and shoppers. So, Bed Bath & Beyond’s store closures are unlikely to spur the oft talked about retail apocalypse.