New exec Mac Naughton pursuing familiar strategy at Walmart

Walmart is intent on undoing some past missteps that alienated customers, which includes restoring feature displays to store aisles.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Duncan Mac Naughton, recently promoted to chief merchandising officer for Walmart’s U.S. stores division, has an opportunity to be a hero at Walmart as the nation’s largest retailer looks to restore sales growth at its U.S. stores this year and beyond.

Mac Naughton, a food-retailing veteran, joined Walmart’s U.S. merchandising team last fall as EVP consumables, health and wellness, and amid a sweeping overhaul of the organization intent on undoing some past missteps that alienated customers and cost the company market share. He was one of four EVPs of merchandising reporting to Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon who are rededicating the organization to a strategy of everyday low prices on a broad assortment of merchandise. On Jan. 28, less than three months after joining the company, Mac Naughton stepped into the chief merchandising role.

Consumables and health and wellness, are seen as critical to helping Walmart demonstrate price leadership, restore customer traffic and convey its value proposition of helping people save money so they can live better.

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