CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Bed Bath & Beyond has filed for bankruptcy after over five decades in business.
The company will be closing hundreds of stores nationwide, including in Charlotte.
“It’s too bad because it’s just a shame. We come here a lot, and it’s great, we keep up with the coupons, and it is a great place to come, but for some reason, retail is suffering,” customer James Nehrenberg said.
No closing signs or bright sale posters lined the outside of the Bed Bath and Beyond on South Boulevard Monday, but inside there was urgency.
“It’s packed with people. Everybody is in line with coupons trying to use their coupons before they go bad,” Nehrenberg said.
Wednesday, the location is liquidating.
“I am really disappointed that it is closing. There are a lot of things like that that are closing. I wonder what is next,” customer Margaret Rossetti said.
Despite a laundry list of big box stores closing or consolidating in recent years, the retail industry is robust.
“We’ve packed essentially eight years of normal growth into the last three years, so it has been a particularly fruitful time for retailers. We have more stores now than we never had before in this country,” National Retail Federation executive director of research Mark Mathews said.
There are winners and, unfortunately, some losers. While sales are climbing, so is consumer power. Stores that are slow to make the transition are transitioned out.
“We have gone from being able to shop when stores are open within a certain driving radius to being able to shop anytime, anywhere, for anything, and retailers have really had to keep up with that,” Mathews said.
“We’ve got Amazon coming every other day, so we are part of it. What can you do?” Nehrenberg said.
The National Retail Federation says e-commerce grows 10-15 percent annually.
Even though online shops like Amazon are growing exponentially, Mathews, there will always be a role for storefronts.
“So, it’s important to recognize that these aren’t two different concepts, and one is going to be successful without the other, they actually work hand in hand in many cases, so the success of e-commerce in many cases also means the success for the store,” he said.