Bed Bath & Beyond stock up 50% as turnaround plans advance

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Bed Bath & Beyond shares rose about 50% in trading Wednesday afternoon as a number of so-called meme stocks rallied.

The stock was in positive territory after the retailer announced it would launch three own brands this quarter, which was a key element of its turnaround strategy ahead of schedule. However, the stock continued to gain momentum, caught in a frenzy that also skyrocketed the value of companies like AMC Entertainment and BlackBerry.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s shares are up nearly 120% this year, equating to a market value of more than $ 4.1 billion. Some of the gains have been helped by retail investors placing speculative bets on a number of heavily short stocks.

The retailer is trying to turn its performance around. It has left non-core stores, closed underperforming stores, and is using its own brands to attract shoppers with products that can only be bought at Bed Bath & Beyond. Private labels were a key revenue driver at Target, where Mark Tritton, CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond, previously served as chief merchandising officer.

Bed Bath & Beyond announced on Wednesday that it will have launched six new brands in the past five months – and one month earlier than expected. In particular, products will be in stores in time for the back-to-school shopping season, which is the second largest time for consumer spending after the Christmas break.

“What we’re seeing is a transition phase as we’re leaving legacy products … and preparing to introduce these new items,” Tritton said Wednesday in an interview with CNBC’s Courtney Reagan on Squawk on the Street. He expects the majority of the new products to hit stores in the next few months.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s new brands include: Our Table, a range of kitchen and dining ware; Wild Sage, a home collection aimed at younger consumers with diverse tastes; and Squared Away, a line of storage, organization, and cleaning products.

Although there will be a transition period when the new products hit store shelves, Tritton expects shoppers replenishing their supplies for returning to college to see many of the new items.

“You will find six new private labels that have great prices, great quality and great style that they didn’t have last year,” said Tritton.

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