Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond

bed bath beyond people to watch 2021

The August 17 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 15th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld “People To Watch” are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond, President and CEO

CREDENTIALS: Mark Tritton became Bed Bath & Beyond’s new president and CEO late last year and immediately faced the challenge of extending a turnaround strategy initiated by the board of directors but under the influence of new executives he brought on board soon after arriving. Tritton arrived at the retailer with more than 30 years of experience in the retail industry, including most recently as evp/chief merchandising officer at Target, with other executive stints at Nordstrom and Nike.

WHAT TO WATCH: Bed Bath & Beyond had launched a turnaround strategy before hiring Tritton based on specific elements: stabilizing and driving top-line growth, resetting the cost structure, and reviewing and optimizing the asset base. As to the asset base, the company has already spun off the One Kings Lane business and Tritton will be evaluating additional asset sales. Since his hiring, Tritton has overseen a range of major executive appointments including, for example, former Avon CFO Gustavo Arnal as evp/CFO and treasurer. Essentially, Tritton has been charged with taking what has been a viable if declining retailer, one that had become stale in merchandising execution while, at the same time, running adrift in the digital function and unable to execute on often good ideas on the operations side, and narrowing focus to leverage its position as a go-to housewares retailer. Tritton has to run down various set priorities to return Bed Bath & Beyond back to its former prominence in housewares retailing. COVID-19 and related store closing have complicated matters but also created opportunities for the retailer to reconnect with a more home-centric consumer.

PERSPECTIVE: “We redefined our purpose: to make it easy to feel at home,” Tritton said in a first quarter conference call. “This is a defining role of our business place for our customers, the Northstar that guides all our actions. To achieve this purpose, our mission is to reestablish our authority and be the preferred home destination driven by teams consistently delivering balanced, durable growth. We believe this mission is more relevant today than ever when home is everything and being safe at home with family is essential.” —Mike Duff

2021 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):

Janet Hayes, Crate & Barrel Holdings

Derek Miller, International Housewares Association

Samantha Rose, GIR (Get It Right)

Jay Zilinskas, Legacy Companies

Ed Vlacich, Lasko Holdings

Ben Gadbois, Corelle Brands

Joana McKenna, Walker Edison

Andreas Hansen, Plum

Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s

Chris McDonough, Corkcicle

Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond

Mike Evans, Bestar-Bush

Greg Cairo, Le Creuset of America

Pamela Stafford, Hestan Culinary

Bob Maricich, International Market Centers

Mark Rosenzweig and Mark Barrocas, SharkNinja