Bed Bath & Beyond is in deep trouble and it could get worse

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LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 10: Customers carry bags from Bed Bath & Beyond store on April 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The home goods retailer is expected to release fourth-quarter earnings figures after the closing bell. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Bed Bath & Beyond hired a new CEO. But the company remains in turmoil.

The retailer gave up on meeting its previous financial targets for investors Wednesday, driving its stock down 11% in premarket trading Thursday.

The home goods chain made the announcement while reporting earnings for its third quarter. Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales at stores open for at least a year dropped 8.3% during the quarter and the retailer lost $29 million.

New CEO Mark Tritton called the results “unsatisfactory” and said they underscore the imperative for change.

The company said it was withdrawing its forecast because of “headwinds.” It expects sales and profit to remain under pressure during the final quarter of the year. Tritton, who was hired in October, is also assessing the business and finalizing his turnaround plan. So the company decided to throw out its previous guidance.

Tritton, a veteran retail executive who last worked as Target’s chief merchant, has already made swift changes at the company.

Last month, Bed Bath & Beyond announced that six members of its C-Suite were leaving, including its chief merchandising officer, chief marketing officer and chief digital officer. Three of the six had been with Bed Bath & Beyond for more than 20 years.

Bed Bath & Beyond desperately needs a new vision. It has struggled in recent years to compete with traditional retailers such as Walmart and Target, as well as online retailers like Amazon and Wayfair.

Tritton said Bed Bath & Beyond’s “transformation is well underway” and that the company would be announcing its strategy in the next few months.

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