Burlington is expanding its presence on Long Island by a half-dozen stores, receiving an assist from Bed Bath & Beyond’s bankruptcy.

The retailer is adding six locations to its eight-store Long Island portfolio, Newsday reported. The expansion is part of the company’s push to improve sales by doubling its store count across the country, including opening smaller locations than before. The average size of new Burlington stores dropped from 45,000 square feet in 2017 to 28,000 square feet last year.

The forthcoming stores will be in Huntington, New Hyde Park, Oceanside, Riverhead, Selden and West Babylon. Three will open in November, but it’s unclear when the New Jersey-based company will open the other half. Only half of the stores will span at least 30,000 square feet, one exceeding the threshold by just a few yards.

Burlington’s expansion is being aided in a major way by Bed Bath & Beyond and the landlords it left behind when it declared bankruptcy in the spring. This year, Burlington acquired more than 60 Bed Bath & Beyond leases; four of the six Long Island additions are at former Bed Bath & Beyond locations.

The retailer’s chief executive has owned up to the role Bed Bath & Beyond is playing in his own company’s fortunes. During an earnings call last month, CEO Michael O’Sullivan said great locations became available in recent months, pointing specifically to the winding down of Bed Bath & Beyond.

“The benefit of acquiring leases directly is that we get to cherry-pick the locations that we’re most interested in,” O’Sullivan added.

Burlington has more than 900 stores across the country. It added 91 stores during the last fiscal year and plans to add between 70 and 80 stores this fiscal year. Three years ago, the company announced its plan to expand to 2,000 stores.

In the fiscal second quarter, Burlington recorded $2.17 billion in sales, an increase of 9 percent year-over-year.

Holden Walter-Warner

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