Evolution, Ongoing Growth Bed Bath & Beyond Annual Meeting Themes

Bed Bath & Beyond’s increased focus on analyzing consumer life stage to satisfy their needs and preferences is a key to driving growth and shareholder value, Len Feinstein, the retailer’s co-chairman and co-founder said at the company’s recent annual meeting.

Included in this effort is the development of a new store concept, which is set to debut in the spring of 2016 at a location in Brooklyn, NY. Warren Eisenberg, company co-chairman and co-founder, told HomeWorldBusiness.com, that the new store format would showcase how Bed, Bath & Beyond has evolved.

The store is expected to include unique presentations of the retailer’s four core store formats under one roof and a featured place for customers to connect with the company’s expanding The Beyond Store online operation, Eisenberg said.

Although the store design still is still a work in progress, Eisenberg said that the new Brooklyn location would provide a comprehensive view of how far Bed, Bath & Beyond has come over the past years and how it has can proceed into the future with multiple approaches to the consumer.

During his presentation, Feinstein outlined key strategic initiatives that the company would develop through 2015 including:

• Investments in analytics, marketing and technology as part of an ongoing effort to help the company more effectively interact with consumers.

• Increasing and differentiating merchandise and service offerings to create more opportunities to interact with consumers.

• Enhancing online and mobile channels in a continuing push to personalize Bed, Bath & Beyond’s customer approach and establish seamless interactions.

• Opening an additional distribution to support online expansion.

• Opening a new customer contact center to support anticipated growth across store concepts and retail channels.

• Developing the new Brooklyn store concept in the Sunset Park neighborhood.

Although investments in the company have pressured earnings somewhat during the past several quarters, Feinstein characterized recent Bed, Bath & Beyond operations as solid, positioning the company for continuing growth.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2015, ended May 30, Bed, Bath & Beyond posted net earnings of $158.5 million, or 93 cents per diluted share, versus $187.1 million, or 93 cent per diluted share, in the year-earlier period. Comparable sales in the quarter advanced 2.2% year over year, the company stated. Net sales were $2.74 billion, the company reported, up 3.1% from the 2014 first quarter. The company asserted that higher sales, general and administrative expenses, up to 28.1% of net revenues from 27.5% in last-year’s first quarter due technology-related expenses and digital-advertising costs primarily, impacted the bottom line.

For the fiscal full year ended February 28, Bed, Bath & Beyond posted net earnings of $957.5 million, or $5.07 per diluted share, versus $1.02 billion, or $4.79 per diluted share, in fiscal 2013. Comps increased by 2.4% versus the year earlier. Net sales were $11.88 billion, up 3.3% from fiscal 2013. Operating profit was $1.55 billion versus $1.61 billion in the year prior, according to the company.