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.

Key Insights

  • 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.

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Market Reaction

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.