Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is laying out its next round of plans to overhaul the business, from store updates and technology improvements to a new share repurchase program. The strategic goals are accompanied by financial projections that stretch through the company’s fiscal 2023. 

The forecasts show Bed Bath & Beyond expects to sustain its comparable-store sales at the 2020 level — bolstered by quarantined consumers — next year, and then grow again in 2023. It also sees free cash flow of up to $1 billion over the three-year period. In a bid to entice investors, the company will also buy back $225 million of stock through Feb. 27, part of a plan to repurchase $675 million from investors over the next three years. 

After struggling with falling sales and activist pressure a year ago, Bed Bath & Beyond is now trying to regain its footing during a global pandemic that has overhauled how people use their money. Growing portions of consumer budgets are being diverted into the home, instead of travel and entertainment, which helped the retailer post a surprise gain in comparable sales — a key metric for the industry — in its most recent quarter.

“Now we know how we can operate and we’re beginning to see the signs of strength,” chief executive officer Mark Tritton said in an interview. “We see behavioural changes that we think are going to be sticky.”

The recovery may still take time. The company said it expects earnings — excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — to be $500 million or more for the next fiscal year, which ends in February 2022. Analysts had anticipated $541 million for the period, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares tumbled 11% at 9:37 a.m. on October 28 in New York as the broader market declined. The shares gained 39% this year through October 27, outpacing the Nasdaq Composite Index.

More brands
Tritton, who took over last November, is putting his stamp on the company by expanding its selection of brands. The private brands will focus on home decoration, laundry, and bathroom and kitchen products.Bed Bath & Beyond will also invest $250 million to remodel 450 stores that generate 60% of revenue, and make equivalent investments to modernize its supply chain and improve technology.

Since taking over, Tritton has rounded out his team of executives who are helping to turn around the company. This year the company increased its e-commerce capabilities and built out services like curbside service, in-store pickup and same-day shipping.

In February, Bed Bath & Beyond cut about 500 jobs and began to outsource some areas. Tritton said he’s not expecting any other major cuts, while warning the situation remains fluid.

Other forecasts from the company include:Bed Bath & Beyond expects to post low- to mid-single digit comparable sales growth in fiscal 2023, which runs through late February of 2024. That metric will be stable in fiscal 2021.EBITDA will reach as much as $1 billion in fiscal 2023.Gross margin will be about 35% in fiscal 2021 and 38% or higher in fiscal 2023.

Source: Toronto Star