The Northwest Arkansas Business Journal reports that Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner and Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, have announced several merchandising personnel changes designed to break down any silos between its stores and online businesses.
According to the story, "Furner and Lore said the company will create one omnichannel merchandising team. When complete, there will be six categories:
Apparel, led by Andy Barron (and sourcing for general merchandise and private brands … Consumables, led by Latriece Watkins … Entertainment, Toys and Seasonal, led by Jeff Evans … Food, led by Charles Redfield … Hardlines, led by Diana Marshall … (and) Home, led by Anthony Soohoo."
“We’ve asked Chandra Holt to serve as chief merchandising and integration officer for Walmart eCommerce, and lead the work that will create an omni-merchandising organization,” the memo said, and the story says that "Holt’s position is dual purpose, the memo said. She will continue driving e-commerce business results, while simultaneously working through the process of integrating the teams as each is ready."
- KC's View:
The most important thing about these moves is that Walmart is recognizing something important - that barriers between online and physical retailing organizations need to be torn down. Brand equity has to cut across all channels, with unhealthy internal competition eliminated. Having everyone heading in the same direction is a great first step.