The CEO who led the retail overhaul of Bed Bath and Beyond has left the company.
An important part of the strategy was widening the aisles and reducing the number of products on display.
In a store in Rochester, New York, we saw less varied merchandise and a more organized look.
Bed, bath and more announced on Wednesday that CEO Mark Tritton stepped down, just months after reaching an agreement with Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen to appoint three new independent directors to its board of directors. Cohen’s firm RC Ventures owns a 9.8% stake in Bed Bath and Beyond.
“Our company and board of directors have always been committed to evaluating all options to maximize long-term shareholder value, and we look forward to integrating the ideas of our new directors to drive our ongoing transformation,” said Tritton in a pronunciation at the time.
Earlier, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it would be updating its stores to achieve a less “messy” shopping experience — a strategy Tritton championed. In February, Insider visited one of the chain’s stores in Rochester, New York to get a better idea of the company’s new layout.
Bed Bath and Beyond is a huge homewares store that customers rely on for everything from wedding registries to dorm room decor.
The chain received a huge boost early in the pandemic as homebound Americans focused on home improvement.
In March 2020, Bed Bath and Beyond made “the biggest change to its product range in a generation”.
CEO Mark Tritton made it his mission to reduce inventory and clear out stores.
Selling too many variants of a single item leads to “purchase paralysis,” Tritton told The Wall Street Journal.
The chain planned to spend up to $400 million on store remodeling and other upgrades, including wider aisles to better show off the merchandise the chain chose to stock.
The plan also included minimizing and organizing merchandise so that items were no longer stacked to the ceiling.
The location I visited in Rochester, New York was not as plain as images of the New York City flagship store.
Still, the giant store seemed more organized, with a smaller inventory than my previous visits over the years.
Most of the shelves were stocked, but the variety of merchandise seemed less varied.
For example, there were only two types of air fryers on display, but the display itself was still huge, reaching almost to the ceiling.
However, the airfryers were an exception and most of the displays I saw no longer extend that high.
The whole store felt a bit more open, with more space between the aisles and displays.
The venue was usually well stocked during my visit, but I did notice some empty shelves.
Minimizing inventory and launching private label brands contributed to some of the challenges in the chain’s supply chain, The Wall Street Journal reported.
That became a pain point for the chain over the holiday season, when the top 200 best-selling items were in short supply, leading to a $100 million loss in sales.
Empty shelves seemed to be mostly limited to household items, not appliances.
The empty shelves were a bit shocking unlike how the rest of the store was organized.
The small clearing area near the tills was the most cluttered part of the store.
It was also the busiest area, showing that at least some customers may not mind the disorder the store was once known for.
The register looked the same as always, with a cluttered selection of chargers, trinkets and other seemingly random items at the register.
This location also didn’t have the self-checkout counters the chain planned to add, just the same snack assortments and checkout counters.
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