A second anchor store in the North Towne shopping center in Hixson will soon close as major U.S. retailers continue to trim their brick-and-mortar storefronts in response to growing online competition.
Bed Bath & Beyond said its Hixson store on Highway 153 is among 400 more locations the home furnishings retailer is shutting down this year, including five of its Buybuy Baby locations and all 49 remaining Harmon Face Value stores.
In total, the company is reducing the number of Bed Bath & Beyond stores from 760 to about 360 as the struggling retailer seeks to cut costs and restore profitability. At its peak six years ago, the retail chain operated 1,552 stores.
Bed Bath & Beyond will continue to operate its other Chattanooga store on Hamilton Place Boulevard near the Hamilton Place mall in East Brained.
"As we continue to work with our advisors to consider multiple paths, we are implementing actions to manage our business as efficiently as possible," a Bed Bath & Beyond spokesperson said in a statement reported by CNN. "This store fleet reduction expands the company's ongoing closure program."
The company recently completed a stock offering that will give it an immediate injection of $225 million in funds and a pledge for $800 million in the future to pay down debt.
The Hixson Bed Bath & Beyond is next door to the Best Buy store that is closing March 4 after operating in Hixson for 17 years. Like Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy is keeping a single store in Chattanooga in East Brainerd on Gunbarrel Road near Hamilton Place mall.
The closing of the two major Hixson retailers in the North Towne shopping center comes less than a year after a Las Vegas investment group bought the retail center at 5591 Highway 153, which also includes a Target store. The retail complex was erected in 2006 by the Chattanooga-based Wolford Development Inc., which sold the 89,327-square-foot shopping center last May for $16.7 million to an entity doing business as Credi Bakersfield LP.
Dino Crescentini Jr., an investor in Dino Management Inc. & Credi Investments, which oversees the center, said in a telephone interview earlier this year that the new owners are looking at other tenants to fill the space after it is vacated by Best Buy in March.
"We think there are great opportunities for other uses for this space," Crescentini said.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner