Bed Bath & Beyond's shares fell 11% on news of falling net sales in the fourth quarter. Experts say this isn't a sign of failure, especially since the retailer managed to turn a profit. Instead, it is a reminder that turnarounds don't happen overnight. The changes CEO Mark Tritton has made have been sweeping and significant, but they will all require time to take full effect. They include remodeling stores, revamping merchandise, closing underperforming locations, and divesting extraneous banners. It is important to note that many of these changes took place during a time of upheaval, both in the retail industry and in the world, as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. Bed Bath & Beyond has become stronger during this time, but now the retailer must prove that the growth and gains are sustainable, even after the crisis is past.
It has now booked three consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth. But when customers aren’t stocking up on hand sanitizers, cleaning supplies and bread makers, what will they be buying?