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Bed Bath & Beyond Sees Path to Growth with Tech Spending

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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Elizabeth Meltzer

Bed Bath & Beyond continues its turnaround march and leadership changes, naming Elizabeth Meltzer as senior VP, general merchandising manager for its bed, bath and home décor categories, and sharing details with investors about its omnichannel investments.

Meltzer, most recently senior VP of merchandising at The Gap, will oversee the development of a new assortment of owned brands that will help the retailer gain authority in the home market. She’ll also be tasked with accelerating its strategic sourcing program as the company reduces the number of suppliers it works with and moves away from a de-centralized inventory management approach.

Bed Bath & Beyond is “completely resetting” its assortment, and will launch more than 10 new owned brands over the next 18 months in key destination categories. It intends to triple the penetration of owned brands within its assortment over three years.

Meltzer will report to Joe Hartsig, executive VP and chief merchandising officer, and president of Harmon Health and Beauty Stores, who cited her experience in developing brands and product strategies for retailers. In addition to The Gap, Meltzer has held merchandising roles at Loft, Uniqlo, Madewell and Calvin Klein.

“We're developing a customer-centric assortment that builds on our authority in the home market through greater differentiation, inspiration and value. Elizabeth's experience developing brands and effective omnichannel product strategies for some of the world's leading fashion retailers brings new expertise to our team that will accelerate our transformation and make it easier for our customers to feel at home with Bed Bath & Beyond," Hartsig said in a statement.

Bed Bath & Beyond is undergoing multi-year turnaround led by president and CEO Mark Tritton, and the No. 34 retailer held its first Investor Day on Wednesday to outline a three-year roadmap that it expects to result in low- to mid-single-digit comp sales growth in fiscal 2023.

It will make up to $1.5 billion in capital investments over the next three years and expects comp sales to remain stable in fiscal 2021.

A core tenet of Bed Bath & Beyond’s turnaround strategy includes leveraging data and insight to engage consumers across all channels, and it will use these insights to build discipline into its use of promotions. It also seeks to improve the communication of value across all channels to engage with its five core customer segments: the nester, the minimizer, the juggler, the innovator and the creative.

The company has added 1.4 million new customers this year, and it’s bolstering its store-fulfillment strategies to convert them to loyal shoppers during a period of extreme behavior shifts. It’s also investing $250 million over the next three years in a store optimization initiative that includes 450 stores representing about 60% of revenue.

While it’s closing 200 stores by 2021, it will add also new stores to build authority in the baby market.

Bed Bath & Beyond is also investing $250 million over the next three years to modernize its supply chain, as well as another $250 million over three years to modernize its tech platforms.  

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