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Bratspies, Furner Named Top Merchants In Walmart-Sam’s Club Shake-Up

Walmart U.S. appointed former hardlines and grocery head Steve Bratspies chief merchandising officer in a corporate shuffle that also trimmed 450 headquarters jobs.

Reporting to president/CEO Greg Foran, Bratspies now oversees all merchandise categories across more than 4,500 stores, and fills a position left vacant since his predecessor Duncan Mac Naughton left the company nearly one year ago.

 Bratspies’ previous post as food executive VP has been filled by former Sam’s Club chief merchant Charles Redfield, who in turn was succeeded by Walmart China exec John Furner.

The management musical chairs continued with the appointment of Brett Biggs as chief financial officer of parent company Wal-Mart Stores. Biggs comes over from Walmart International, where he held the same post, and succeeds Charles Holley, who will retire at the end of the year.

The shake-up comes amid continuing efforts by Wal-Mart to kick-start sluggish sales and earnings, and to remain relevant in an increasingly digital world. It also included the cutting of 450 corporate jobs, which Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said would help make the world’s largest retailer more nimble.

“Our customers are changing, retail is changing and we must change,” he told employees in an e-mail obtained by local news source The City Wire. “We need to become a more agile company that can easily adapt to shifting customer demand.”