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Bed, Bath & Beyond in workforce reduction

BY Marianne Wilson

The ax has fallen at Bed, Bath & Beyond as part of the realignment of its .store management structure.

The retailer said it has initiated in approximately half of its U.S. Bed Bath & Beyond stores and about a dozen of its buybuy Baby stores a limited realignment of its store management organization that will result in the elimination of about 880 department and assistant store manager positions.

"As we work to continue to satisfy our customers through our omnichannel capabilities, the role of our stores is also evolving, and remains crucial to achieving our mission of being trusted by our customers as the expert for the home and heart-felt life events," said Steven H. Temares, CEO, Bed Bath & Beyond, Union, New Jersey. "The actions taken today to accelerate the realignment of our store management will allow us to better support our customer-focused initiatives as well as support our omnichannel growth, while driving operational excellence."

The changes are estimated to generate future annual pre-tax cost savings for the retailer of approximately $16 million, with the pre-tax cost savings for the remainder of fiscal 2017 are estimated to be approximately $7 million. The company expects to incur related restructuring charges of approximately $17 million in fiscal 2017, primarily for severance and related costs, all of which will be expensed in the second quarter.

"These actions accelerate a transition in store management roles that began more than a year ago through store hiring practices and attrition," the company stated. "These efforts simplify the store management structure and strengthen the company's ability to meet the growing and changing desires of its customers by focusing additional staffing needs in non-management roles, and placing less emphasis on a management structure that supported a more rapid rate of store growth."

In addition, Bed Bath & Beyond said it has established a "strategic portfolio management office," and additional resources have been engaged, including industrial engineers, to drive operational excellence.

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News

Golf superstore retailer continues to expand

BY Marianne Wilson

PGA Tour Superstore is betting on Las Vegas.

The retailer has signed a lease to open its first store in the Las Vegas market, a 30,000-sq.-ft. space in downtown Summerlin.

The location, expected to open later this year, is the company's 31st store. It will be staffed with PGA teaching professionals, have five state-of-the-art swing simulators, multiple practice hitting bays, an expansive putting green and a junior putting green along with an in-house club-making and repair facility.

In addition, the store will also offer appointment-only fitting services in an interactive studio space.

“Las Vegas and Summerlin in particular represent a premier market for our expansion. As a truly thriving area for golf, this is an ideal place to introduce what we believe is the best experience in golf retail,” said PGA Tour Superstore president and CEO Dick Sullivan.

PGA Tour Superstore is operated by Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, a subsidiary of AMB Group, LLC, headquartered in Roswell, Ga.

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MOBILITY

Target retail tech accelerator alum makes good

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

One of the retail tech start-ups from the inaugural class of the Target + Techstars retail accelerator program is expanding.

Branch Messenger, a mobile app that lets hourly workers easily swap shifts, view schedules and message one another, has raised $6.8 million in a Series A funding round. This brings the company's total funding to more than $10 million, according to The Star Tribune, and makes Branch Messenger the most successful start-up that participated in last year’s inaugural class of Target's Techstars retail accelerator.

Atif Siddiqi founder and CEO of Branch Messenger, launched the company in Los Angeles in 2015. During his time with the accelerator program, Siddiqi ran a successful pilot in 10 Target stores, and later moved its U.S. headquarters to Minneapolis.

The app now has tens of thousands of active users that include a number of individual Walgreens or Domino's locations. Siddiqi is also actively signing up more big company customers, the report said.

Siddiqi plans to use the extra resources to double his workforce, which has grown from three people to 20 in the past year, The Star Tribune said.

To read more, click here.

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