What worked at Target didn’t work for Mark Tritton at Bed Bath & Beyond
Mark Tritton came to Bed Bath & Beyond with great fanfare in 2019 after his tenure as the chief merchandising officer at Target. Mr. Tritton relied heavily on his Target experience in his plans to turn his new company around. In the end, however, Mr. Tritton learned that what worked for Target just didn’t at Bed Bath & Beyond. The news came today that Mr. Tritton is out as president, CEO and a board member of Bed Bath & Beyond.
Sue Gove, an Independent director on the retailer’s board and chair of its strategy committee, has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Gove has a career spanning more than three decades in retail in senior financial, operating and strategic roles. She previously served as president and CEO of Golfsmith and COO of Zale Corporation.
“We must deliver improved results. Our shareholders, associates, customers, and partners all expect more,” said Ms. Gove in a statement. “We are committed to providing customers with a one-stop destination to meet their needs through our assortment, experience, and services, whether online or in stores. Top-tier execution, careful management of costs, greater supply chain reliability, prudent capital spending, a stronger balance sheet, and robust digital capabilities will all be important to our success. I’m eager to start working more closely with our leaders and our associates across all banners to make the necessary strategy adjustments and create a brighter future.”
Mr. Tritton seemed to be taking many positive steps during the early months of his tenure as the company improved its financial stability, upgraded its omnichannel capabilities and went out trying to create a point of difference with its owned brand merchandise. Stores were being remodeled to improve the customer experience.
Business initially improved during the pandemic as consumers focused on buying items to make living in lockdown more comfortable. The pandemic, however, didn’t take long to throw a wrench into Bed Bath & Beyond’s plans as the retailer appeared to be plagued more than most with supply chain disruptions.
The retailer today reported that its comparable physical store sales fell 24 percent year-over-year in the first quarter ending May 28. Online sales dropped 21 percent.
“Our first quarter’s results are not up to our expectations, nor are they reflective of the company’s true potential. The initiatives we are instituting today are just the first steps in putting our business on firm footing to drive our future success,” said Ms. Gove.
- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Reports Fiscal 2022 First Quarter Results (Ending May 28th, 2022) – Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Announces Executive Leadership Changes – Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.
- Can Target’s chief merchandising officer turn Bed Bath & Beyond around? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What went wrong and right during Mark Tritton’s tenure at Bed Bath & Beyond? What will Sue Gove and the next CEO of the retailer need to do to turn Bed Bath & Beyond’s business around?