Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi spoke to Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton about the company’s store closures and outlook amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
JULIE HYMAN: So what exactly are they selling, because we already, what, have seen some shrinking of the stores themselves, right?
Yeah, Julie, caught up with Bed Bath and Beyond CEO Mark Tritton this morning, was just finishing up his breakfast, sorry to disturb him. Nonetheless, you're seeing the great unwinding of Bed Bath & Beyond assets that [INAUDIBLE] had no clue the company even owned. It did, and it's fetching big money. Last night, they said they would sell their Christmas Tree Shop's brand, which I always wondered why they even own it to begin with, and a distribution center in New Jersey for a combined $250 million.
They've continued to sell assets to raise cash right now going into holiday season. This company has $2.2 billion in total liquidity. That is a massive amount of money to feed the turnaround plan that Tritton is fueling. Tells me that the company isn't early innings, and the next big showcase for them is October 28. Very key date for him, his new management team and for the traders that have sent the stock up close to 70% over the past year. Expect a big plan on what they plan to do in 2021.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Brian, when they talk about what they plan to do, there's a Bed Bath & beyond down at 63rd Street, not far from where I'm at, and when you go in there, they sell food. Why are they selling olive oil and coffee that I can get at the Fairway Supermarket at Bed Bath & beyond? Shouldn't they be knocking down on that too?
BRIAN SOZZI: Well, Adam, all that stuff goes into the big, expensive pots and pans you get it from Bed Bath & Beyond. No, but really, to your point, I think you'll see this company fine tune its store model in 2021. Expect more private label brands. Expect more towels, more things you know Bed Bath & beyond for. Keep in mind, Mark Tritton was the merchandising whiz at Target before he joined Bed Bath & Beyond on November 4, 2019. Expect more private brands, expect a more tailored assortment, expect to not get lost in the store when you go in there.
INES FERRE: And of that, Brian, as you mentioned, Mark Tritton coming from Target before going to Bed Bath & beyond, and last quarter, digital sales grew 89% for the company. So did he give any indication as to what else is going to happen, what else is up his sleeve as far as turning this company around?
BRIAN SOZZI: My sense from just talking to him as he is starting to get his sea legs under him as CEO, expect some more store closures. Bed Bath & Beyond has come out recently, said they will close 200 stores. That will bring their total store count to about 1,200. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point soon he gets it under 1,000. Ultimately, it just helps them better manage the business, focusing on the most profitable stores, take those savings from operating big giant stores and invest back in the online brand and also more of their private label products.
JULIE HYMAN: Well, as I mentioned, the street likes what they're doing so far, because the shares are trading higher today. Brian Sozzi, thank you very much.