November 4, 2021
The challenges of the last 18 months have led many retail industry leaders to realize their business model is mired in legacy technology systems in need of a soup-to-nuts overhaul to obtain a true omni-channel presence. Very few, however, have achieved the remarkable improvement of Bed, Bath & Beyond. Under the leadership of CEO, Mark Tritton, the retailer has achieved much but is just getting started.
Here are some things we’ve observed that are propelling Bed, Bath & Beyond forward:
Renovations have been underway to better connect with Bed, Bath & Beyond customers. The flagship store in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City was the first to undergo the makeover. The once highly stacked merchandise has been lowered to improve sitelines. Wider aisles and more neatly arranged displays help to motivate customers with a more residential feel to their shopping experience. The flagship renovation is just the beginning of a $250 million three-year initiative to remodel 450 of its stores to propel their transformation strategy. “A key component of our plan is modernizing our stores to significantly elevate in-store shopping experiences while optimizing their role in our digital-first, omni-always approach to help customers unlock the magic in every room of their homes,” says Tritton.
The large retailer has kept customers first and foremost in all their initiatives with an unwavering focus on omni-channel and digital. Bed, Bath & Beyond wants to meet the needs of how their customers wish to engage. Providing the best experience in stores, online, or by using the app is their first priority. And has precipitated an upgrade in capabilities like Buy Online Pick-up in Store (BOPIS), as well as curbside pickup and same-day delivery. “These changes will be delivered through re-designed business and IT processes and tech enablers to deliver new capabilities to the business,” says CTO, Scott Lindblom.
Bed, Bath & Beyond’s omni-channel vision depends a lot on what isn’t seen. “Having the right retail technology in place is fundamental to our business transformation,” says COO, John Hartmann. And the retailer has made good on that assessment. In the past year they have expanded their partnership with Google to leverage all cloud technologies and help to personalize shopping experiences for their customers. They have also become the first home retailer utilizing the DoorDash marketplace. They now offer same-day delivery in 3,000 zip codes in the U.S. and 47 cities in various provinces of Canada. The DoorDash partnership comes right off the successful implementations of BOPIS and curbside pick-up services during 2020. “As we continue our transformation to a digital-first, omni-always retailer, DoorDash is an ideal partner to help expand our marketing reach to the millions of customers who already shop their digital channels,” says Rafeh Masood, EVP, Chief Digital Officer, and Interim Chief Brand Officer.
In February 2021, Bed, Bath & Beyond announced the selection of Oracle as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology provider to replace their legacy suite of technology systems. The initiative is set to deliver new data insights and planning capabilities and is the first step in a $250 million investment. The technology roadmap takes place over the next three years and is expected to continue the enhancement of the shopping experience and drive efficiencies. It’s just the beginning of a $1.5 billion plan that includes expanding its relationship with Google Cloud to leverage the tech giant’s technologies, including BigQuery, Spanner, Google Compute Engine, and Google Kubernetes Engine. This incredible technology stack will provide a singular view of customer data across Bed, Bath & Beyond’s portfolio of brands. The multi-year partnership aims to accelerate the retailer’s laser-focused transformation as a leader in Home, Baby, Beauty, and Wellness categories focused on providing customers a digital-first experience. To assist in this endeavor, Deloitte has been brought on to serve as a strategic transformation services partner.
Given the scope of the transformation, skeptics believed the idea of a major retailer turning its entire business model on its head was impossible – they were proven wrong. With new technology partners, a deep sense of customer service, and ensuring that employees have the tools they need to drive store execution Bed, Bath & Beyond’s reinvention is just beginning. “This year, we’ll not only mark up the 50th anniversary as a business, but [it will] also be an important inflection point in Bed Bath & Beyond’s history. We are reinventing ourselves,” says Tritton. It’s been a big year for Bed, Bath & Beyond and there is even more to come.
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