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Twitter amplifies ad offering

BY Dan Berthiaume

SAN FRANCISCO — Placing ads in tweets just got easier and more precise for retailers.

It will probably not have the same impact on social commerce as Twitter’s recent introduction of a Buy Now button, but the social platform is opening its Amplify ad program. In a beta offering, Twitter is letting advertisers select content categories and audiences they want to target with preroll video ads.

Twitter automatically and dynamically places the ads into embedded videos tweeted by publishers, with the publisher receiving most of the ad revenue through an automated revenue-sharing arrangement. The main difference from the traditional Amplify format is that advertisers no longer have to partner with a specific publisher to get their preroll ad placed.

Twitter plans to expand the new, more open Amplify out of beta both in the U.S. and globally. For retailers, this is a chance to target their ads more precisely based on video content and additional audience targeting, rather than by general audience demographics of a specific publisher.

More granular targeting should lead to more customer engagement and ultimately more sales, especially with the new Buy Now button that lets consumers make purchases without having to leave Twitter.

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Longtime Publix exec announces retirement

BY Mike Troy

LAKELAND, Fla. — An executive who played a key role in helping Publix deliver on its “where shopping is a pleasure” brand promise has stepped down after nearly half a century with one of the nation’s best supermarket operators.
 
David Bridges, VP of fresh product business development at Publix will retire effective Jan. 1, 2016 and his role will be filled by Chris Litz who currently serves as a regional director of Publix Atlanta Division.
 
Bridges’ career at Publix began in 1966 when the retailer had roughly 100 stores and its operations were concentrated in Florida. He began at a store in the retailer’s hometown of Lakeland, Florida, as a front service clerk. He became a store manager in 1981 and in 1987 he became a district manager. In 1994 he was promoted to Lakeland Division regional director and to vice president of retail business development in 2000. The following year he was named to the role of VP of fresh product business development, a position he held for the past 14 years. Today, Publix operates roughly 1,100 stores across six states.
 
“David (Bridges) has been a dedicated Publix associate and an integral part of the growth of our fresh and meals departments. He has a passion for providing premier service to his customers and for the training, development and advancement of his team. We will miss David and wish him well as he begins the next chapter of his life,” said Publix president Todd Jones.
 
Bridges’ successor, Chris Litz, joined Publix in 1987 as a store clerk. He became a store manager in 1995 and Lakeland Division district manager in 2000. He was promoted to director of warehousing in 2007 and his current position in 2010.
 
“Chris’s experience in retail and support makes him an ideal candidate for this leadership position,” said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “His knowledge of both facets of our operations will continue to move our fresh retail business units forward.”
 
Litz will report to senior VP Dave Bornmann who has responsibility for grocery and customer service business development, which Publix says allows for insight across the center and perimeter of the store and the front end operations.

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Walmart, Sam’s Club name new chief merchants

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — On the same day that it announced a new CFO, 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 vice president 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 chief marketing officer 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 vice president of merchandising to the role of 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 several operational and merchandising leadership roles, including chief merchandising officer 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.e

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