The Forest Park outlet of Bed Bath & Beyond, 215 S. Harlem Ave., is among the 20 Illinois locations that avoided the ax in a round of store closings announced last week. 

According to the list published on its website, the chain plans to close 65 stores by the end of 2022.  The company previously announced that it intends to close 150 “lower-producing” stores, but this list of 65 closures was the first time they identified any specifics. The impact on Illinois will be relatively modest, with three stores closing in the Chicago area suburbs and three stores closing downstate. 

The Forest Park location sits on the Forest Park/Oak Park border, and within walking distance of River Forest. It is currently the only location in the near west suburbs of Cook County. The location in west suburban Downers Grove has been spared as well.

In Dec. 19, 2019, Bed Bath and Beyond sold the building that housed the Forest Park location to Edison FPIL001, LLC and began renting it. As the Review reported at the time, the lease will run until Jan. 31, 2025, at which time the tenant has two options to extend the lease for an additional 60 months each. After that, Bed Bath & Beyond has an option to extend the lease for another 48 months. This was part of the company’s larger effort to reduce costs, which also included selling and leasing back about half of its real estate, cutting 500 positions and closing 60 stores for good. 

Bed Bath and Beyond has faced financial struggles. In 2021, it disclosed losing hundreds of millions of dollars due to shortage in inventory. On Aug. 31, it reported that its sales dropped by 26% compared to 2021. In response, it announced several initiatives to reduce costs, including the aforementioned store closures, cutting its workforce by 20%, discontinuing three of nine company-owned brands and reducing the inventory of its remaining six brands. The latter is a reversal of a shift toward company-owned brands last year. 

At the same time, Bed Beth and Beyond also announced several initiatives to improve its bottom line, including increasing the inventory of national brands, expanding its loyalty program, improving supply chains by working closer with suppliers and implementing “impactful, organic changes to accelerate further growth and unlock the brand’s full potential including building on its digital and registry platforms, addressing additional age groups and expanding products and services.”

On Sept. 2, Bed Bath and Beyond’s Chief Financial Officer Gustavo Arnal fell to his death from New York City’s Tribeca skyscraper. In a statement issued on Sept. 4, the company described the incident as a “shocking loss” and expressed condolences to his family. Authorities later deemed his death as being by suicide.