Bed Bath & Beyond rallies as it taps Target's top merchant as CEO
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. named Target’s head merchant Mark Tritton as its new chief executive officer as the home-goods retailer seeks to reverse a deep sales slump.
Tritton will take over from interim CEO Mary Winston starting on Nov. 4. Target, where he was chief merchandising officer since June 2016, simultaneously announced his resignation.
- Tritton was the architect of Target’s development of more than 30 new private brands in areas like apparel and home decor, which have helped the cheap-chic retailer regain its footing. Bed Bath & Beyond said he was instrumental in helping fuse Target’s in-store and e-commerce operations -- a concept referred to as “omni channel.” Before that, he helped build Nordstrom Inc.’s private label business. He has also worked at Nike and Timberland.
- A trio of investors, including Legion Partners Asset Management, have listed a raft of proposed changes at Bed Bath & Beyond, including the divestment of some brands that they estimated could fetch as much as US$1.4 billion. They’ve also said Bed Bath & Beyond’s supply chain is “archaic” and its cost structure “bloated.”
- Chris Kiper, managing director at Legion, said in an email that he supported the pick, calling Tritton a “superstar talent” and added that his skills will help the beleaguered retailer return “to greatness.”
- Tritton will immediately feel urgency to halt Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales erosion. A feather in his cap is that he helped Target to produce nine straight quarters of comparable-store sales increases.
Investors cheered the move, sending Bed Bath & Beyond shares up as much as 24 per cent in late trading. They had fallen 12 per cent this year through Wednesday’s close.