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New head merchants named at Walmart, Sam’s Club


Photo: Steve Bratspies

Walmart has filled its empty chief merchant spot and named other executives to key leadership roles within the organization, including a new head merchant at Sam’s Club.

Steve Bratspies was named chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. stores, effective Oct. 19, 2015, filling a position that had been vacant since the departure of Duncan Mac Naughton a year ago. Bratspies will oversee all merchandise categories across more than 4,500 stores in the U.S. business and will continue to report Walmart U.S. president and CEO Greg Foran.

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

Most recently, Bratspies served as the executive VP of food for Walmart U.S. where the retailer credited him with overhauling the retailer’s grocery aisles with a focus on improving its fresh offering and expanding its private brand and global sourcing capabilities. Bratspies joined the company in 2005, initially in a marketing role, and later transitioned to merchandising. Prior to joining Walmart, Bratspies served as CMO for specialty brands at Frito-Lay.

“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. “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. 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.”

Bratspies promotion created an opportunity for Walmart to shift Charles Redfield from his role and Sam’s Club’s executive VP of merchandising to the role of executive VP of food for Walmart U.S. Redfield joined Sam’s Club in 1988 as a cashier and moved up the ranks to serve in several operational and merchandising leadership roles, including CMO at Asda.

Filling Redfield’s role, is long time Sam’s merchant John Furner. He was previously serving as chief merchandising and marketing officer at Walmart China.

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