Bed Bath & Beyond ended its four-month search for a new CEO when it named Mark Tritton, Target's chief merchandising officer, to the role on Wednesday. Tritton worked in Target's C-suite for three years, helping build its popular stable of private-label clothing and home furnishings' brands. He has also been an executive at Nordstrom, Nike and Timberland. Bed Bath & Beyond's decision to seek out a new leader from a top competitor won Wall Street's support. Bed Bath & Beyond's stock was 22 percent higher — its best day since March. Interim CEO Mary Winston will continue to serve on the company's board of directors.
Total Retail's Take: While there's enthusiasm for Tritton's hiring, he inherits a major challenge in trying to turn around the struggling retailer. For example, Bed Bath & Beyond is ramping up store closures as same-store sales plummet, consumers view the company as a promotion-driven retailer that's solely competing on price, and it has fallen behind online competitors such as Amazon.com and Wayfair. That's a lot working against Tritton as he takes the top spot. However, he does come from Target, which is enjoying a very strong year, and is presumably at least somewhat responsible for that retailer's transformation, particularly building its popular private-label clothing and home furnishings' brands. Bed Bath & Beyond could use some of that same magic.