Bed Bath & Beyond closing stores, cruises prepare to sail

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A customer wears a face mask to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus as he walks behind sales advertisements at a shopping mall in Bangkok Thursday, July 9, 2020. Daily life in the capital slowly returns to normal as Thai government has eased restrictions imposed weeks ago to combat the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.



— Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close about 200 stores over the next two years as its sales slid in the first quarter. The chain reported its quarterly sales dropped 49% due to temporary store closures amid the pandemic. Online sales soared 82%.

— The Buckle is seeing improving sales as more of its stores reopen. The fashion retailer said Thursday that sales for the five-week period ended July 4 rose 26.8% from a year ago. Buckle began temporarily closing stores in mid-March. Since then, it's reopened 438 stores. It runs 446 retail stores in 42 states.

— Big 5 Sporting Goods is also seeing a resurgence in its business since reopening stores. The sporting goods retailer's same-store sales dropped 28.2% in the first half of the second quarter with stores shuttered, according to preliminary data. However, the metric climbed 15.5% in the second half of the quarter as stores began reopening. For the entire fiscal second quarter, same-store sales declined 4.2% compared with a year earlier.


— The CEO of Delta Air Lines said Thursday that the surge of coronavirus cases in the Sun Belt and quarantine restrictions in northern states make the airline more cautious about adding flights. Ed Bastian told employees the recovery in air travel “is likely to be lengthy and slow,” and he encouraged them to take buyouts and early retirement to limit the need for furloughs as the airline shrinks. This month, Delta is operating about 30% of the flights it flew last July.