Bed Bath & Beyond temporarily closes half its stores amid coronavirus outbreak

Bed Bath & Beyond has announced it will temporarily close more than half of its stores in response to the coronavirus, joining several other retailers forced to alter its business model during the pandemic.

The company said Thursday that roughly 800 stores in the United States and Canada will shut down beginning Friday and remain closed until April 3. Those stores do not have health and personal care departments.

Another 700 stores under the company's umbrella, including Buy Buy Baby and Harmon, will remain open, as will Bed Bath & Beyonds that feature a health and personal care department.

Those stores will stay open with limited hours in order to sell goods for children, as well as cleaning products, health and personal care supplies, and food and drinks.

"In this time of great uncertainty, our first priority is the welfare of our customers and associates." CEO and President Mark Tritton said in a press release. "We are therefore taking this decisive action to help keep our communities safe, while continuing to serve our loyal customers with the essential cleaning, health and personal care products that they and their families need at this time.

"We will continue to adapt and be responsive as our customer needs change, and in line with public health guidance and regulations."

The company also said store employees will continue to be paid and receive benefits while the stores remain shuttered.

Bed Bath & Beyond joins a growing list of stores that have closed amid the coronavirus crisis, including Sephora, Macy's, Nordstrom, Kohl's, Land's End and Ikea.