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Bed Bath & Beyond’s new CEO is making it clear he means business, as he ousts six senior execs

Shoppers exit a Bed Bath & Beyond store in New York.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bed Bath & Beyond‘s new CEO is making it clear he means business, as he has been tasked with turning an embattled retailer around.

The home goods company announced on Tuesday morning, in the midst of the holiday shopping season, that six senior executives are being ousted. This marks CEO Mark Tritton’s first major maneuver since joining Bed Bath & Beyond from Target. His first day on the job was Nov. 4.

The departures at Bed Bath & Beyond this week include the company’s chief merchandising officer, marketing officer, digital officer, its general counsel and chief administrative officer. The company’s chief brand officer had already resigned last week.

“This is the first in a number of important steps we’re taking,” the CEO said in a statement. “Balancing our existing expertise with fresh perspectives from new, innovative leaders of change, will help us to better anticipate and support our customers in their life journeys and shopping needs.”

Tritton knew it wouldn’t be easy to turn around the retailer when he agreed to take over this role. It wasn’t going to be the same quarter after quarter of sales growth that he had grown accustomed to while at Target.

Bed Bath & Beyond has seen a three-year decline in same-store sales, while its sales growth has declined for three consecutive quarters. Net income has dropped for 10 straight quarters.

The company, which also owns buybuy Baby and World Market, has more than 1,500 stores across the U.S., at a time when more consumers are turning to the internet to buy things. Bed Bath & Beyond has to compete with Amazon, which offers most of the same merchandise, if not more, online.

But some analysts have said that, if anyone can fix Bed Bath & Beyond’s challenges, it might just be Tritton.

Having previously served as chief merchandising officer at Target, Tritton has been credited for getting Target back to its “cheap chic” roots and impressive sales gains. In his role, he oversaw Target’s private-label business and launched numerous new brands during his tenure, some of which have grown to do more than $1 billion in sales.

Tritton also has worked at Nordstrom, Timberland and Nike.

The rapid change at Bed Bath & Beyond by Tritton “points to decisive and bold actions to execute a turnaround,” Telsey Advisory Group analyst Christina Fernandez said.

Tritton will likely, among other things, grow Bed Bath & Beyond’s private labels and exclusive brands, make shopping in stores more appealing to customers by executing on upgrades like self checkout kiosks, and bolster the retailers delivery capabilities, she said.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares were up about 4% on Tuesday morning, after Tritton’s clean sweep was announced. The retailer’s stock has climbed more than 39% this year, with investors betting a turnaround will take hold. Bed Bath & Beyond is valued at about $2 billion.

—AP contributed to this report. 

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