Bed Bath & Beyond Taps Target’s Top Merchant as Its New CEO

(Bloomberg) -- 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 $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.
Bed Bath & Beyond Taps Target’s Top Merchant as Its New CEO

Market Reaction

  • Investors cheered the move, sending Bed Bath & Beyond shares up as much as 24% in late trading. They had fallen 12% this year through Wednesday’s close.
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