You Can’t Influence an Outdated Business Model

You can't influence an outdated business model. Why Bed, Bath & Beyond's CEO couldn't save the stores.

Another cultural touchstone has reached the end of its long, arduous march toward corporate death, proving that you can’t influence an outdated business model.

Today is the last day to use the ubiquitous 20% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond, which announced it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this week and will close by June 30.

Clearly, this is a cautionary tale of a business model that failed to keep up with the modern world. But it’s a game-changer for other reasons.

Former CEO Mark Tritton joined the company in November 2019 with a plan to modernize the chain. He set out to replicate the formula that worked at Target, where he’d been chief merchant.

But his lofty plans took a major hit when the pandemic struck. Bed, Bath and Beyond’s supply chain was too antiquated and its systems too outdated to keep up with the buy-online/pick-up at the curb service that other retailers like Best Buy capitalized on.

And so while home-related sales soared during the pandemic, the irony is that this former titan of home goods store was unable to capitalize on it. Tritton was out. (He’s now suing over unpaid severance.)

As the old saying goes, “timing is everything.” I disagree that it’s everything, but this is living proof that an unexpected twist can undermine your plans and accelerate your demise.

My takeaway is this: Transformative change waits for no one. Act now, not later. Your leadership influence depends on it.

#leadership #ceo #change #influence #bedbathandbeyond

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