Bed Bath & Beyond has hired a longtime retail veteran to lead a new team focused on own brand product development. The Union, N.J.-based retailer named Neil Lick senior vice president of owned brands, joining the company after 22 years at Williams-Sonoma.
"To rebuild Bed Bath & Beyond's authority as the leading omnichannel Home retailer, we are reimagining how we develop and curate an owned brand assortment,” said Joe Hartsig, Bed Bath & Beyond executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. “Neil has deep experience building brands that people love and will spearhead our new owned brand team to curate and develop a portfolio of truly differentiated brands that deepen our penetration in our core categories and our connection with our loyal customers."
During his time at Williams-Sonoma, Lick held various roles across merchandising, product development, inventory management and corporate social responsibility. In his new position, he will lead Bed Bath & Beyond’s newly formed owned brand team, which is working to develop and launch an own brand portfolio for launch in 2021. The company is beefing up its private brand strategy to offer more relevant, inspiring and differentiated merchandise, particularly in bed, bath and kitchen, where it holds significant market share.
"At a time when our homes have never been more important to us, I'm excited to join a brand that plays such a vital role in the lives of its customers. Finding new ways to help customers feel at home couldn't be more relevant or exciting in the current context. I look forward to playing my part in rebuilding Bed Bath & Beyond's authority with customer-inspired brands that are truly differentiating."
When the products do launch, it is possible that they will be digital-focused. Lick’s appointment comes on the heels of Bed Bath & Beyond announcing a plan to close more than one-fifth of its store footprint — roughly 200 stores — over the next two years as it invests in a digital transformation. These efforts follow a difficult fourth quarter that saw the retailer’s sales down 49% from its prior-year Q4. The quarter saw an expansion in the use of its digital offerings and buy-online-pickup-in-store service, as well as curbside pickup. For more on that, read the full coverage at sister publication RIS here.