Today, my wife and I drove down Texas Street from University Heights into Mission Valley and our local Bed Bath & Beyond. About 24 hours earlier, liquidation sale started—as the retailer begins to wind down all operations in U.S. stores following an April 23, 2023 Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing. Some people will say that SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns killed the company, and they would be mistaken.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s demise is more complicated but two causes are fundamental, and one was exacerbated by the nation’s pandemic response. The first: Unnecessary debt. I told my wife years ago that too many public companies used cheap credit to buy back, and therefore bolster, shares. That’s the real reason for tech stalwarts like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and the like laying off tens of thousands of workers. Trust me: It’s not the economy but cost-cutting because of debt.