The Scramble to Take Over What Bed Bath & Beyond Left Behind

“I’m just a gal with a dream, manifesting 40 percent,” Ms. Maeda, 27, said. “I want everyone to get what they want so badly. If we all collectively wait it out together, hopefully the sales will get a little better.”

Amazon, Walmart, Target and Kohl’s are expected to be the retailers that benefit most once Bed Bath & Beyond closes its doors permanently. While they may see a sales lift, some analysts caution that not all of the bankrupt retailer’s sales will be absorbed by competitors. The market for home goods could just shrink.

“People who really, really shopped them won’t shop anywhere else,” said Dave Marcotte, a senior vice president of Kantar Consulting. “Along the way, a lot of money disappears.”

That was the case when Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in 2009, he said.

One notable difference between the Bed Bath & Beyond bankruptcy and those of retailers during the 2008 downturn is that it probably won’t leave scores of empty storefronts in its wake.

In the weeks since Bed Bath & Beyond said it would close its 480 stores by the end of June, Brandon Svec, who studies retail analytics at the real estate firm CoStar, has seen how potential tenants have swooped in to sign leases for locations the retailer is exiting. The demand is so great that some of the locations will never hit the open market, as landlords and tenants negotiate directly, he said.

Grocers like Natural Grocers, off-price retailers like Burlington, T.J. Maxx and Five Below and gyms like Crunch Fitness and Urban Air are among the tenants that have moved in after Bed Bath & Beyond vacated. Canadian Tire paid $1.6 million this month to acquire 10 former Bed Bath & Beyond locations.

In some cases, the locations that housed Americans’ fading obsession with brick-and-mortar retail are making room for a new favorite pastime: Landlords are moving pickleball gyms into old Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

There’s a lot of good real estate,” Mr. Svec said. “It’s going to be some locations that are going to take a little bit longer to sell. But for the most part, this seems to be a good time for this to happen from a perspective of the market.”

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