The CEO who led Bed Bath and Beyond's retail overhaul has left the company.
A key part of the strategy was widening aisles and putting fewer products on display.
At a store in Rochester, New York we saw less varied merchandise and a more organized look.
Bed Bath and Beyond announced on Wednesday that CEO Mark Tritton was leaving his role just months after reaching an agreement with Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen to appoint three new independent directors to its board. Cohen's firm RC Ventures owns a 9.8% stake in Bed Bath and Beyond.
"Our Company and Board have always been committed to evaluating all options to maximize long-term shareholder value, and we look forward to integrating our new directors' ideas to drive our continued transformation," Tritton said in a statement at the time.
Previously, Bed Bath & Beyond announced that it would be updating its stores to achieve a less "cluttered" shopping experience — a strategy Tritton championed. Back in February, Insider visited one of the chain's stores in Rochester, New York to get a better sense of the company's new layout.
Bed Bath and Beyond is a massive home goods store that customers rely on for everything from wedding registries to dorm room decor.
The chain got a huge boost early in the pandemic as homebound Americans focused on home improvement.
In March 2020, Bed Bath and Beyond implemented "the biggest change in its product assortment in a generation."
CEO Mark Tritton made it his mission to reduce inventory and declutter stores.
Selling too many varieties of a single item leads to "purchase paralysis," Tritton told The Wall Street Journal.
The chain planned to spend up to $400 million on store remodels and other upgrades, including wider aisles to better show off the merchandise the chain chose to stock.
The plan also included minimizing and organizing merchandise so items were no longer stacked up to the ceiling.
The location I visited in Rochester, New York wasn't as pared down as images of the flagship New York City store.
Still, the gigantic store appeared more organized, with a smaller inventory than my previous visits over the years.
Most shelves were stocked, but the variety of merchandise seemed less varied.
For example, there were just two types of air fryers on display, but the display itself was still massive and extended nearly to the ceiling.
The air fryers were an exception, though, and most displays I saw no longer extend so high up.
The entire store felt a bit more open, with more space between aisles and displays.
The location was mostly well stocked during my visit, but I did notice some empty shelves.
Minimizing inventory and launching private-label brands contributed to some of the chain's supply chain challenges, The Wall Street Journal reported.
That became a pain point for the chain over the holiday season, when its top 200 bestselling items were in short supply, leading to a loss of $100 million in sales.
Empty shelves seemed mostly to be limited to home items, not appliances.
The empty shelves were a bit jarring in contrast to how organized the rest of the store was.
The small clearance section near the checkout counters was the messiest area of the store.
It was also the busiest area, showing that at least some customers may not mind the disarray the store was once known for.
The checkout looked the same as always, with a messy selection of chargers, knickknacks and other seemingly random items near the register.
This location also didn't have the self checkouts the chain plans to add, just the same snack assortments and registers.
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