Bed Bath & Beyond taps Ascena Retail exec to lead store ‘optimization’ effort

Wade E. Haddad

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has brought on a real estate veteran as it continues to review its brick-and-mortar portfolio.

The home furnishings company appointed Wade E. Haddad as senior VP, real estate and construction, effective Sept. 2. Haddad, who joins with more than 25 years of real estate experience, will lead the company's recently announced store optimization strategy, part of its comprehensive restructuring plan. In July, Bed Bath & Beyond said it plans to close about 200 stores during the next two years. 

Haddad joins Bed, Bath & Beyond from Ascena Retail Group, where he has served as senior VP, real estate & store development since 2016. (Ascena declared bankruptcy in July.)  

Prior to that, he held senior roles at Ascena’s Ann Inc. division, Klinger Advanced Aesthetics, Bieri Company, and The Taubman Company.

At Bed, Bath & Beyond, Haddad will report to John Hartmann, COO and president of buybuy Baby, and will lead a team to optimize the company's approximately 50 million-sq.-ft. real estate portfolio including the store fleet across all banners, as well as its offices, distribution and fulfilment centers. 

"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,” said Hartmann. “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.”

Bed Bath & Beyond said Haddad will be a central part of the team overseeing the “comprehensive modernization of the company's operations, unlocking value from the property portfolio while establishing the optimal network to support new omnichannel services such as buy-online-pickup-in-store, curbside pickup, and same day delivery.”

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