Can Target’s chief merchandising officer turn Bed Bath & Beyond around?
Bed Bath & Beyond has announced that Mark Tritton, chief merchandising officer at Target, will become its new president and chief executive officer on Nov. 4.
Mr. Tritton will be joining a company that has seen same-store sales drop for 10 consecutive quarters. Last week, the retailer announced plans to close 60 stores by the end of the year, up from the 40 locations previously announced.
Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled to develop a unique point of difference relative to the wide range of retailers competing in the same space. The chain has been criticized on a number of fronts, including an undifferentiated shopping experience and a reliance on coupons that has trained regular customers to only buy on deal.
Mr. Tritton has been credited with playing a prominent role in Target’s turnaround under CEO Brian Cornell in recent years. He was key in the retailer’s efforts to create a seamless shopping experience for Target’s “guests” in the chain’s stores and on its website. He was also involved in the development of the retailer’s private label portfolio and its collaborations with designers that reinforce Target’s “cheap chic” esthetic.
Bed Bath & Beyond chairman Patrick Gaston said that Mr. Tritton brings with him “one of the most impressive resumes in the business” and lauded him for helping to “redefine the retail experience and drive growth” at Target.
A press release announcing Mr. Tritton’s hiring said his “immediate focus” will include improving the omnichannel shopping experience for Bed Bath and Beyond’s customers along with “enhancing” its assortment of merchandise. He will also need to assess the strengths of the company’s assets and align its cost structure with performance.
Mr. Tritton said that he joins a company that “remains one of the most recognizable and best loved retailers in the country.” He said that many of the changes required to turn the company around have already been put in place and he looks forward to working with Bed Bath & Beyond’s stakeholders to “build an even better business” for all.
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond were up more than 21 percent on extended trading yesterday following the news of Mr. Tritton’s hire.
- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Names Mark J. Tritton as President and Chief Executive Officer – Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
- Bed Bath & Beyond taps former Target exec Mark Tritton as president, CEO, stock soars 21% – CNBC
- Bed Bath & Beyond store closings: Retailer increases projected closures to 60 – USA Today
- Is Bed Bath & Beyond smart to draw the line on coupons? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing Mark Tritton as CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond? How great do you see his likelihood of success?