The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt nationally and here in New Jersey. Union, New Jersey based Bed Bath & Beyond has announced that they will be closing 63 stores nationwide, including two here in New Jersey.

The two locations heading to the chopping block are in Howell (on Route 9) and Rockaway (on Enterprise Road) and are expected to be shuttered by the end of the year. Bed Bath & Beyond had previously announced that they would be closing over 200 stores across the country; these 63 represent the first wave of those closings. Bed Bath & Beyond has a total of 36 New Jersey locations after two stores closed earlier this year: in Newton and in Sewell.

Spokeswoman Jessica Joyce told USA Today, “This is an important step in our multi-year program to create a sustainable, durable business and invest where it matters most to our digital-first customers and our people," adding "an exciting array of customer-inspired owned brands" will launch in 2021.

Stores in 29 states will close; New York and California each have six. The company also operates Cost Plus World Markets, buy buy Baby, Harmon Face Values, and Christmas Tree Shops.

COO John Hartman was quoted in USA Today as well, "In this COVID moment, we believe we can take this opportunity to not just simply close stores, but to pivot and reshape and truly optimize our store footprint,” Hartmann said. “We continue to believe that our physical store channel is an asset for us, as we transform into a digital-first company.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.