The news: Bed Bath & Beyond ousted CEO Mark Tritton following another quarter of declining sales and a significant net loss. Sue Gove, an independent director on the company’s board, will serve as interim CEO.
The context: After an activist investor unseated the retailer’s executive team in November 2019, Bed Bath & Beyond hired Tritton, who had spent over three years as chief merchandising officer at Target.
Challenges ahead: In addition to fixing its supply chain issues, Bed Bath & Beyond needs to cut costs and improve its balance sheet.
Knowing what people want: The retailer’s supply chain challenges drove it to order inventory earlier than usual. That left it vulnerable to shifts in consumer demand, which will force it to discount excess inventory, as Target and other retailers have had to do.
The big takeaway: Tritton’s timing was terrible: He arrived just before the global pandemic upended the retail landscape. That left him attempting to execute a challenging shakeup plan amid a swirl of headwinds, including a dip in demand for home goods in Q1. While there’s clearly more work to be done—starting with its supply chain challenges—Tritton’s initiatives provide Gove with a head start at turning around the retailer’s business.