Bed Bath & Beyond to close its lone Lawrence store, creating opening for new retailer in Pine Ridge Plaza

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World

Bed Bath & Beyond is pictured in Lawence's Pine Ridge Plaza shopping center on Nov. 13, 2022.

Shoppers will soon have to look beyond Lawrence to find a Bed Bath & Beyond.

The chain retailer has announced that it is closing its lone Lawrence location. The store in the Pine Ridge Plaza shopping center near 33rd and Iowa streets has the going-out-of-business signs up and is running deep discounts.

The retailer had announced in early September that it planned to close about 150 stores across the country to shore up sagging finances. The company later that month released a list of about 60 stores that it had decided to close, and Lawrence wasn’t on that list. But the Lawrence store apparently did not survive the second cut.

In September, The Associated Press reported that Bed Bath & Beyond burned through about $325 million in cash, as losses continued for the retailer, which sells all types of home goods, accessories and furnishings.

The company has installed a new CEO and adopted a new strategy that focuses its inventory more on established national brands rather than trying to sell in-house brands of merchandise created by Bed Bath & Beyond. But the strategy wasn’t enough to save the Lawrence location. The company didn’t provide specific comments about how it chose the locations to close, other than to say it focused on closing “lower-producing” stores in its chain.

Whether any of that will be enough to save the chain is still in question. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that some suppliers had stopped or restricted shipments of new goods to the retailer. That’s despite $500 million in new financing Bed Bath & Beyond secured this summer. Even with that new financing, Bloomberg reported some “suppliers say they remain concerned about the retailer’s survival and have cut off or cut back on merchandise they ship to the company.”

More recently, the company seems to be trying to pull itself out of financial trouble by issuing more stock and using the proceeds to pay off debt. The company on Monday issued 11.7 million shares to reduce $123 million in debt, multiple financial news providers reported. Last week, the company issued 2.8 million shares to reduce $31.5 million in debt. Thus far, investors have not done much to reward the company for its changes. The company’s stock is down more than 75% for the year, which is a far steeper fall than the market as a whole has experienced. Despite the recent changes, the company’s stock is trading near a 52-week low at $3.52.

In terms of other places where you can find a Bed Bath & Beyond, there are options in both the K.C. metro and Topeka. The retailer’s website lists locations in Olathe, Shawnee and Overland Park, in addition to a single Topeka location on Wanamaker Drive. However, I never have seen a full list of the 150 stores that Bed Bath & Beyond intends to close. It is possible some of those area stores may be on the closing list, as the company’s website isn’t yet doing anything to identify those stores that are going out of business.

Prior to the announcement of store closings, the company operated 769 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, meaning the company is closing about 20% of all its locations.

I haven’t heard any word of what, if anything, may replace Bed Bath & Beyond in the Pine Ridge Plaza shopping center. But the closing opens up a prominent corner location in the shopping center, which is home to the largest concentration of chain retailers in the city. If you have forgotten, the shopping center is home to Kohl’s, Michaels, Famous Footwear, T.J. Maxx and several other national chains.

Again, I don’t have any insight into what is likely to occupy that space, but it is usually interesting to look at which retailers have been growing to try to get a clue. The National Retail Federation recently released its list of the 25 fastest growing retailers in 2022. I’m not sure how many clues it gives us, as several of the fastest growing retailers are already located in Lawrence, like No. 1 retailer Harbor Freight Tools. Others, like Dillard’s, No. 4, generally focus on larger markets. Others still don’t seem to have a Midwest presence currently, like No. 2-ranked Inditex, a Spanish-based fashion retailer that operates brands such as Zara, Pull & Bear and others.

In terms of companies on the list that do seem to have a presence in the area, there’s Burlington, No. 3, which used to go by Burlington Coat Factory but now sells a variety of clothes. Designer Brands, parent company of Designer Shoe Warehouse, also is on the list at No. 8. Designer Shoe Warehouse in past years has publicly been identified by developers as a company that had an interest in coming to Lawrence, but the Pine Ridge Plaza location would put it in the same shopping center as Famous Footwear. Also in the top 10, at No. 9, is H&M, which is a Swedish-based fashion retailer. It has several locations in Kansas City, but hasn’t yet moved farther west into Kansas.

I wouldn’t necessarily bet on any of those, but it has been a while since Lawrence has had a new chain retailer locate in town, so it will be interesting to watch the space.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.