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Struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond grapples with keeping shelves stocked ahead of Black Friday

INSIDER 11/24/2022 (JP Mangalindan)
Michael Santiago/Getty Images © Michael Santiago/Getty Images Michael Santiago/Getty Images
  • Bed Bath & Beyond is grappling with low inventory issue and unpaid invoices to suppliers.
  • The home goods retailer has struggled with executive departures, store closures, staff reductions. 
  • This holiday season could be pivotal for Bed Bath & Beyond's future. 

Once a leading home goods retailer, Bed Bath & Beyond is now in a fight for its life as the company grapples with low inventory issues going into Black Friday and unpaid invoices to suppliers.

Over 40% of the retailer's inventory was out of stock in October, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. WSJ also reported that the company has yet to catch up on overdue payments to suppliers, with invoices dating as far back as January.

Bed Bath & Beyond's trouble dates back to at least November 2019, when former Target CMO Mark Tritton took over for interim CEO Mary Winston. Under Tritton, the company reduced its name-brand goods with its own private-label brands, which failed due to supply chain issues and lagging customer interest.

After Tritton was ousted as CEO in June 2022, other executives exited the company as well, including Bed Bath & Beyond's chief operating officer, chief stores officer, and chief merchandising officer. (Its chief financial officer died in September.)

The company announced in August it would close an estimated 150 stories and slash 20% of its corporate staff. On the product front, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it would also discontinue several of its private-level brands, reduce the assortment of others, and adde back more goods from national brands like OXO and Calphalon. 

Whether Bed Bath & Beyond successfully pulls off that rare corporate turnaround remains to be seen, but there's little doubt this holiday season will be a pivotal one for the company that many shoppers once considered a go-to destination for their shopping list.

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