The dismal performance of Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) in the recent quarters shows that its troubles aggravated in 2019, thwarting shareholders’ hopes for a revival. As the year comes to a close, the home furnishing retailer is busy reshuffling its executive team, with the latest move being the appointment of Cathy Smith as the new CFO. The company’s stock traded higher during Tuesday’s regular session.
Ever since Mark Tritton took charge as the new CEO a few months ago, nearly one dozen top officials stepped down from the company amid demands from activist investors for effective steps to put things in order. The company has long been reporting negative comparable sales continuously, due to weak store traffic that worsened progressively. The market responded positively to Tritton’s bold stance, which gave the stock a modest fillip.
For the store operator, a comprehensive transformation is the need of the hour, considering the chaotic system of stores operating without proper order or direction. As a potential solution, the company reportedly pursued its sale at one point. As of now, efforts are on to streamline operations and get rid of under-performing ancillary businesses.
But, the question is whether these initiatives would be helpful in achieving a turnaround. It needs to be noted that the company went through one of its worst phases at a time when the retail sector as a whole was doing quite well, aided by strong consumer spending. The fact that Bed Bath & Beyond has not been able to take advantage of the holiday season might dampen the market’s sentiment further.
Obviously, a long-term program is needed to put the retailer back on track – a strategy focused on leveraging the company’s brand value, which is still intact, and its healthy cash flow. Tritton, who is a former executive of Target Corp. (TGT), might seek to include more private-label brands in Bed Bath & Beyond’s merchandise.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey-based big-box retailer reported better-than-expected adjusted earnings of $0.34 per share for the second quarter. Revenues declined 7% and missed the Street view as comparable sales dropped 6.7%.
Shares of the company plunged to a multi-year low mid-August, after falling steadily over the past several years. Surprisingly, they regained strength since then and crossed the $15-mark this month. It needs to be seen whether the positive momentum will be carried forward into the next year.
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