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Bed Bath & Beyond is All About Expansion

Union, N.J. -- Real estate expansion is top-of-mind for Bed Bath & Beyond, as the home textiles specialty chain revs up to open its first store outside the United States – to be located in Canada – before the end of this fiscal year, and “continues to review other international opportunities,” said Warren Eisenberg, co-chairman, during BBB’s second quarter earnings call.

“In future years,” Eisenberg noted, “we plan to accelerate the growth of our Christmas Tree Shops and buybuyBaby stores as well as continuing to roll out Harmon departments within our Bed Bath & Beyond stores.”

BBB’s ultimate goal is to operate 1,300 domestic BBB units. The company currently operates: 839 BBB stores, 36 Christmas Tree Shop locations, 39 Harmon units, and eight buybuyBaby stores.

For all of fiscal 2007, BBB is on plan to open about 70 new stores well as two buybuyBaby units and four more Christmas Tree Shops.

Also in the works are two new facilities – a soon-to-come e-service fulfillment center to support BBB’s growing online business, and a state-of-the-art 700,000-square-foot distribution center to be completed in 2008 to support the growing Christmas Tree Shops chain.

For the second quarter, BBB saw earnings rise 1.0% to $147.0 million from $145.5 million for the same period one year ago; per share earnings rose 7.8% to $0.55 from $0.51.

Sales in the quarter rose 10.0% to $1.77 billion from $1.61 billion. Comps climbed 2.2%.

The company has helped improve its per-share earnings through a $1 billion share re-purchase program initiated in December 2006, and now the board has authorized an additional $1 billion buyback, with an open-ended schedule.

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