Bed Bath & Beyond, whose shares became a “meme stock” that enjoyed astronomical gains in 2021, said today (Aug. 31) it will close 150 stores in the U.S. and lay off 20 percent of its staff as the retailer seeks to turn around its struggling business.
Earlier today, the company announced a plan in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing to issue and sell shares to pay debt, buy back shares in the future and finance possible acquisitions.
The news sent Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock down more than 24 percent in morning trading hours.
Bed Bath & Beyond was one of the meme stocks, along with AMC and GameStop, whose stock prices were pumped to record highs during the pandemic by speculative retail investors despite their actual businesses suffering huge losses. Small traders loaded up on these companies’ stock after their share prices had hit rock bottom early in the pandemic and talked up their names on Reddit discussion boards to encourage more investors to join the game.
The meme stock hype is mostly over in 2022 as the overall financial markets collapse. Bed Bath & Beyond shares had a brief comeback earlier this month as part of a broader market rebound but quickly lost momentum. Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock price is down 40 percent in 2022 so far.