By Joshua Burd
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has hired a veteran retail and real estate executive to spearhead a newly announced plan to streamline its portfolio of stores, logistics centers and office space.
Wade E. Haddad joins the Union-based company as senior vice president of real estate and construction, bringing more than 25 years of industry experience. In the new role, he will be a key part of the team tasked with modernizing the retailer’s operations, unlocking value from its 50 million-square-foot portfolio and establishing an optimal network for services such as buy-online-pickup-in-store, curbside pickup and same-day delivery.
Haddad will report to John Hartmann, chief operating officer and president of buybuy BABY.
“We have taken a number of important steps to unlock value from our real estate portfolio, while better harnessing our stores to deliver for customers through new services such as BOPIS and curbside pickup,” Hartmann said. “Our store optimization and real estate strategy will allow us to serve our customers even better in the future, and support our efforts to build a sustainable, durable business model. Wade has decades of experience in multi-brand portfolio management for leading retailers, with a proven track record driving efficiency and creating value. His vision and expertise will help accelerate our plans to enhance the omni-always shopping experience for our customers.”
Bed Bath announced late last month that it was moving ahead with an accelerated restructuring plan in an effort to simplify its operations, support investment in its strategic growth plans and provide additional financial flexibility. The plan included 2,800 layoffs across its corporate headquarters and retail banner stores, which it said will coincide with better serving customers in a digital-first shopping environment and realigning technology, supply chain and merchandising teams to support growth initiatives.
The retailer also promised an end-to-end transformation of its supply chain.
Prior to joining Bed Bath & Beyond, Haddad held several roles at Ascena Retail Group, the parent company of brands such as Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant. Most recently, he Haddad was senior vice president, real estate and store development, a role in which he operationalized an industry-leading real estate and store development function across the company’s eight brands.
Prior to that, he held senior roles at Ann Inc., Klinger Advanced Aesthetics, Bieri Co. and mall giant The Taubman Co.
“Bed Bath & Beyond is one of the most iconic brands in the retail space, with an exciting growth strategy to rebuild its authority in the home, baby, health and wellness markets,” Haddad said. “I’m excited to join the company at such a key moment in its history, to harness its real estate portfolio and optimize its store footprint in ways that support the company’s vision, accelerate its plans to grow and better serve its millions of loyal customers.”