• Andrea Lillo

Smaller stores reflect more regional focus

Bed Bath & Beyond during the third quarter focused on opening smaller stores with a more regional focus, executives said during its third-quarter conference call last week. The 55 new stores opened during the third quarter averaged 27,000 square feet each.

"We continue to size new stores to better meet the needs of the specific markets served, which result in stores that are smaller on average than in prior years," said Leonard Feinstein, co-chairman and co-ceo.

This fiscal year will yield 95 new stores, instead of the 88 previously announced, because some of the units planned for fiscal 2003 are to be opened earlier. It also added a 29th unit in its Harmon Discount division this quarter. "We continue to regularly explore other opportunities, recognizing that we have the capital and the organization to do so," said Feinstein.

Though it will finalize its 2003 operating plan within the next few weeks, Ron Curwin, cfo and treasurer, said that it plans to open 88 new stores, not including the ones that were opened earlier, with 12 units in the first quarter, 23 in the second, 50 in the third and three in the fourth.

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