The top executive at Bed Bath & Beyond’s CEO was ousted Monday with the home goods retailer struggling to figure out what people want to buy.
Board member Sue Gove will serve as interim CEO, the company said today, replacing Mark Tritton. Bed Bath & Beyond hired Tritton in late 2019. He’d previously served as chief merchandising officer at Target.
Tritton’s exit followed the release of the company’s first quarter financial report, which revealed that sales have plunged 25%.
Gove said in a prepared statement that the retailer “must deliver improved results,” and that she’d be working to address all of the issues facing the company.
“Top-tier execution, careful management of costs, greater supply chain reliability, prudent capital spending, a stronger balance sheet, and robust digital capabilities will all be important to our success,” she said.
Gove has been on the company board since May 2019. She has more than 30 years of experience in the retail industry, including having served as president and CEO of Golfsmith International Holdings and chief operating officer of Zale Corp.
One of the biggest issues Gove will have to tackle is finding a way to improve sales. In March Tritton announced that Bed Bath & Beyond was going to launch a slew of new store brands to try to attract younger customers. The chain had recognized that its stores were cluttered and that it had lost shoppers to rivals such as Target, Walmart and Macy’s.
“We were over-assorted. It was a bit of a jumble,” Tritton told The Associated Press at the time.
Bed Bath & Beyond also announced Wednesday that it’s hired retail advisory firm Berkeley Research Group to help with cash, inventory and balance sheet optimization. In addition, the Union, New Jersey-based chain hired search firm Russell Reynolds to assist in finding a permanent CEO.
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. slid more than 23% in early trading.