New exec Mac Naughton pursuing familiar strategy at Walmart
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 Walmart.com 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.
CVS’ innovations far from ‘Just the Basics’ with Bloom at helm
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Looking for a merchant known for the ability to swiftly understand the big picture and move into action? Look no further than Mike Bloom of CVS/pharmacy.
This visionary merchant, who joined CVS as part of the People’s Drug Store acquisition in 1991 and was appointed SVP merchandising and supply chain in September 2009, is credited with giving rise to a number of concepts, including the “Life” store prototype initiative, which became the model for many other chain store makeovers. In more recent years, Bloom has had a significant hand in such innovations as the upscale Beauty360 format, as well as the Urban Cluster concept and a new private-label program.
In 2010, CVS took the wraps off its Urban Cluster store concept, which has a significant focus on consumables and is designed to be a convenient shopping destination for urban dwellers. Meanwhile, to take a leadership role in private label, the retailer has a brand new private-label program, Just The Basics, which represents a functional, value-priced, smart-simplicity positioning.
Health Mart’s Canning makes good on goal to help indies compete
SAN FRANCISCO — For some guys, it’s just in their blood. That’s definitely the case for Tim Canning — you can say he was born into this business.
Canning, 1-of-8 children of the late, great Fred Canning — who, as president and COO of Walgreens during the late ’70s and ’80s, led a major turnaround of the company — is no doubt making his father incredibly proud these days, as he leads McKesson’s 2,700-plus-strong Health Mart stores, the fastest-growing pharmacy franchise operation in America.
Canning’s mission: to help a growing cadre of independent pharmacy operators compete against the big chains by operating more efficiently, building closer patient relationships and capturing additional revenue streams. Five years ago, it was a collection of just a few hundred stores. Today, the company has built a broad menu of clinically oriented health-and-wellness services for its customers, as well as a range of capabilities that give it some of the national branding, marketing and purchasing strengths of a corporate-owned chain.
Two strong examples of Health Mart’s “big chain” presence are a multimillion-dollar ad campaign that debuted in January 2010 during the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics, and the company’s annual Health Mart Healthy Living Tour, which visited 80 stores across 18 states last year.