Bed Bath & Beyond To Cut Private Label Assortment

The home specialty retailer's latest strategic initiatives includes store closures, upper management changes and the hiring of a new CEO.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Bed Bath & Beyond has unveiled its latest strategic plan as the home goods retailer takes steps it says will meet customer demand while also driving growth and profitability.

Among the major changes will be to its brick-and-mortar footprint. Company officials said they have identified and commenced closure of approximately 150 lower-producing Bed Bath & Beyond banner stores.

Additionally, its plan includes a reduction in private label products, the assortment of which was expanded during the tenure of former CEO Mark Tritton, who was fired in late June after less than three years on the job. The retailer will be exiting a third of its Owned Brands by discontinuing three of its nine labels–Haven, Wild Sage and Studio 3B. 

Additionally, the breadth and depth of inventory across the company's six remaining Owned Brands (Simply Essential, Nestwell, Our Table, Squared Away, H for Happy and Everhome) will be substantially reduced to 20 percentage points, reflecting a more balanced sales to stock ratio moving forward, company officials said.

As its private label assortment is reduced, Bed Bath & Beyond said it will bring back popular national brands and introduce emerging direct-to-consumer brands. 

"We are embracing a straight-forward, back-to-basics philosophy that focuses on better serving our customers, driving growth, and delivering business returns,” said Sue Gove, director and interim CEO. “In a short period of time, we have made significant changes and instituted enablers across our entire enterprise to regain our dominance as a preferred shopping destination for our customers' favorite brands and exciting products.”

The home specialty retailer has also secured financing commitments for more than $500 million of new financing, including its newly expanded $1.13 billion asset-backed revolving credit facility and a new $375 million "first-in-last-out" facility. 

As the company continues its search for a new CEO, it has also made several key executive changes. Mara Sirhal has been named executive vice president and brand president of Bed Bath & Beyond. In addition, Patty Wu has been promoted to executive vice president and brand president of buybuy BABY. The newly created brand president roles will be responsible for each banner's merchandising, planning and allocation, brand marketing, and stores. Sirhal and Wu will report directly to Ms. Gove.

In conjunction with these changes, the company has eliminated the chief operating officer and chief stores officer roles. Accordingly, John Hartmann and Gregg Melnick will be departing the company