Bed Bath and Beyond in Grand Forks has announced it will be closing, with an expected date of around Thanksgiving to be the store’s final day.
Store manager Ashley Matteson said the closure is happening because the shop’s lease was unable to be renegotiated. Tuesday, Matteson claimed the negotiations were with Dakota Commercial, although Dakota Commercial President Kevin Ritterman told the Herald Wednesday that his company is only the property manager -- not the owner -- and that Dakota Commercial was not involved in the negotiations.
An original version of this story was published on grandforksherald.com late Tuesday afternoon and in print Wednesday morning. As of late Tuesday, the Herald had twice called Dakota Commercial for comment, but Ritterman could not be reached. Ritterman responded Wednesday morning.
He said the details provided by Matteson, regarding negotiations, are incorrect.
"Dakota Commercial is the property manager of the Bed Bath & Beyond building, not the landlord or owner," Ritterman said. "Dakota Commercial was not involved in any lease negotiations between the ownership and Bed Bath & Beyond Corporate.
"We were surprised to learn that Bed Bath & Beyond would be leaving. We were under the impression that Bed Bath & Beyond corporate and the ownership group were working in good faith to negotiate new lease terms," Ritterman said. "We, like the community, are disappointed to see Bed Bath & Beyond leave Grand Forks.”
According to city records, the owner of the building is Inreit, LLC.
Matteson said the staff, who found out a week ago, is in shock. She also said customers are disappointed.
“It’s been a really big shock to all of us, and a shock to a lot of our regular customers that come here to shop for weddings. … We don’t have a for-sure date yet. We just announced to the public (about) our closing yesterday, so we put up our closing banner and everything in the store is 20% off right now, with a few exclusions,” Matteson said.
The sale will continue until the shop is able to reduce its inventory. Some items will be transferred to other store locations. Matteson said the Bismarck and Fargo locations will remain open.
Matteson said she has been aware of the lease negotiations since July.
“I just didn’t put two and two together that this could possibly end this way,” she said. "I didn’t have any idea that it would come to closing the store.”
About 20 people stand to lose their jobs, managers included, according to Matteson, who said she would help staff members with their future job searches by providing recommendations.
The date of around Thanksgiving is a “soft” date, Matteson said. The actual closing date could be before or after the holiday.
Matteson said she would like to thank the community for being supportive of the shop, which has been open in Grand Forks for 18 years.
“We have so many customers, and we’re really sad to be leaving,” Matteson said.