Walgreens’ own brand leader heads to Bed Bath & Beyond
A longtime Walgreens veteran is taking the reins of Bed Bath & Beyond’s company-wide merchandising, as well as its Harmon Stores division.
The Union, N.J.-based chain has named Joe Hartsig executive vice president, chief merchandising officer and president of Harmon Stores, effective immediately. He will lead merchandising for Bed Bath & Beyond across the company's banners, as well as lead the Harmon Stores division.
Hartsig was most recently senior vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walgreens, a role that had Hartsig heavily involved in the retailer’s own brands.
The move comes amid big shakeups at Bed Bath & Beyond. The company last week enacted a strategic restructuring that included eliminating some 500 positions in field operations, management positions and other functions that will be outsourced — driving roughly $85 million in savings.
“To rebuild our business, we need leaders of change. Joe's experience as one of the leading innovators in retail makes him perfectly suited to help re-establish our authority in the Home, Baby and Beauty markets and we're excited to welcome him to this critically important role,” said Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton, who joined the company in November from Target. “Improving the curation and differentiation of our assortment is our No. 1 strategic priority, and Joe will be the driving force behind our ambition to make it easy to feel at home with Bed Bath & Beyond, while also providing the leadership and vision needed to grow our Harmon business.”
Hartsig brings to the role more than 30 years of experience in the industry that has spanned both consumer brand development and retail merchandising. He has been a senior leader at such companies as Walmart, Motorola and SC Johnson. At Walgreens, he had been chief merchandising officer since 2017 after joining the company in 2015. His role at the retail pharmacy giant saw him overseeing more than 500 merchandising, planning and field teams across categories. He also led the company’s own brand organization, as well as e-commerce and digital merchandising strategies.
“The opportunity to help rebuild an iconic brand like Bed Bath & Beyond was too good to miss,” Hartsig said. “Mark has a clear vision to reconstruct a modern, durable business model with a differentiated merchandising strategy at its heart. It is an exciting time to be joining Bed Bath & Beyond and I look forward to working closely with Mark and the organization.”
Tritton said Hartsig’s hiring is the first of several anticipated new appointments to strategic leadership roles. “I am very grateful for our associates who have stepped up to provide key interim leadership and partner closely with me to build our plan,” Tritton said. “We look forward to providing an update on additional hires soon.”
This article first appeared in sister publication Drug Store News.