Store Brands Are the Future at Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond's next step in its new growth strategy is hiring a Williams-Sonoma veteran to lead a private brand program launching in 2021.
The retailer has named Neil Lick as Senior Vice President, Owned Brands. Lick, a former merchandising executive at Williams-Sonoma, will lead a newly formed team at Bed Bath & Beyond that has been tasked with developing and launching a portfolio of customer inspired owned brands. The company says its newly enhanced owned brand strategy will create a more relevant, inspiring and differentiated merchandise assortment exclusive to Bed Bath & Beyond, including in key rooms and occasions where it already has significant market share such as bed, bath and kitchen. The company plans to introduce an array of owned brands in 2021 with the anticipation that the portfolio will expand over time.
"To rebuild Bed Bath & Beyond's authority as the leading omnichannel Home retailer, we are reimagining how we develop and curate an owned brand assortment," said Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, Joe Hartsig. "Neil has deep experience building brands that people love and will spearhead our new owned brand team to curate and develop a portfolio of truly differentiated brands that deepen our penetration in our core categories and our connection with our loyal customers."
The COVID-19 crisis, which led Bed Bath & Beyond to temporarily close stores, has hurt sales and pushed the retailer further into net loss territory and higher financial stress. Going forward, the company's growth strategy includes a sharper focus on product curation and differentiation as well as higher penetration of owned brands in core categories such as bed, bath and kitchen.
Lick comes to Bed Bath & Beyond after a 22-year career at specialty culinary retailer Williams-Sonoma, which is known for having a highly popular and differentiated store brand portfolio. During his tenure at Williams-Sonoma, Lick held various leadership positions within merchandising, product development, inventory management, and as head of corporate social responsibility. He will report to Hartsig and lead a cross functional team across the company.
"At a time when our homes have never been more important to us, I'm excited to join a brand that plays such a vital role in the lives of its customers. Finding new ways to help customers feel at home couldn't be more relevant or exciting in the current context. I look forward to playing my part in rebuilding Bed Bath & Beyond's authority with customer inspired brands that are truly differentiating," Lick said.
Lick's hiring follows a flurry of executive appointments over the past few months as the retailer’s new president and CEO Mark Tritton has sought to rebuild a senior leadership team in order to re-position the company as the leading omnichannel home goods retailer.