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Walmart names new chief merchant for U.S. stores

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Steve Bratspies, executive VP for food, moves to key post at retail giant

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has promoted Steve Bratspies to chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., the retail giant’s largest business unit.


Steve Bratspies

Bratspies currently serves as executive vice president of food for Walmart U.S. The company said Friday that Bratspies is slated to take the reins as chief merchandising officer for U.S. stores on Oct. 19. In the role, he will oversee all merchandise categories across more than 4,500 stores and continue to report to Greg Foran, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S.

Bratspies fills the vacancy left by Duncan Mac Naughton, who departed Walmart last November to pursue other opportunities. Mac Naughton had served as chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. stores since in January 2011.

“Walmart is known for its world-class merchandising organization. From the buyers and replenishment managers to our merchandise operations experts, it’s a dedicated team with a commitment to serving customers that I’m honored to lead,” Bratspies said in a statement.

“Going forward, we’ll continue our relentless focus on our customers. We’ll move with speed and conviction to ‘super-serve’ the millions who shop Walmart,” he added. “We will stay true to our mission by strengthening our commitment to everyday low prices, optimizing our assortment and winning at omnichannel retailing through strong partnerships with suppliers and a continued investment in our associates.”

Walmart noted that Bratspies, as executive vice president of food for Walmart U.S., overhauled the grocery aisles with a focus on improving the retailer’s fresh food offering and expanding private brand and global sourcing capabilities. Since joining Walmart in 2005, he has held leadership positions in marketing, dry grocery and general merchandise.

“Steve is a true leader and an example of the rich talent that exists within the merchandise organization,” Foran stated. “His outstanding merchandising instincts and commitment to innovation and price leadership will challenge the status quo to serve our customers better.”

Also on Friday, Walmart said it has appointed Charles Redfield, executive vice president of merchandising at Sam’s Club, as executive vice president of food for Walmart U.S. Redfield joined Sam’s Club in 1988 as a cashier and moved up the ranks to serve in operational and merchandising leadership roles, including chief merchandising officer for Asda.

Taking over as executive vice president of merchandising at Sam’s Club is John Furner, who has been serving as chief merchandising and marketing officer at Walmart China. The company noted that Furner has made key improvements at Walmart China in buying leverage and reducing organizational complexity, yielding improved profitability and price leadership.

Walmart announced the leadership changes on Friday just hours after reporting that chief financial officer Charles Holley is retiring and will be succeeded by Brett Biggs, CFO of Walmart International.


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