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Ohm Takes The Reins Of Walmart CE


Seong Ohm is wasting
little time as Walmart’s new CE merchandising

Her first major initiative since assuming
the role of senior VP/general merchandise
manager for entertainment from
Gary Severson in August is the rollout of
an exclusive $30 prepaid 4G service later
this month through T-Mobile. (See story,
below.) More merchandising announcements
are expected as the holiday selling
season nears.

Ohm is well-prepared for the Christmas
clash, having spent more than five years
as Sam’s Club’s senior VP/general merchandise
manager of electronics and office products, and
as divisional merchandise manager of electronics.
Under her leadership, Sam’s Club expanded the
number of national branded products, piloted home
installation services, and increased the
quality of its CE assortment, Walmart
told TWICE.

Severson, her longtime predecessor in
Walmart CE, was instrumental in upgrading
the department from a largely commodity
business to one featuring tier-one
brands like Apple, LG and Samsung, and
better products such as smart, 3D and
large-screen LED TVs; an expansive selection
of smartphones and home networking
gear; and staffed demo stations.
He continues as a senior VP/general
merchandise manager, now overseeing sporting
goods, hardware and automotive.

Prior to her current assignment, Ohm was the senior
VP of Walmart’s global merchandising center
for home, hardlines, entertainment and toys, where
she was responsible for leading the company’s
sourcing, packaging and technical operations.

Ohm also served as senior VP of general merchandise
and consumables for Walmart Japan/Seiyu,
where she focused on transforming the general
merchandise business while implementing everyday
low pricing (EDLP) across the 386-store chain.

A 2008 profile of Ohm by Little Pink Book, an
online resource for working women, described
her as one of the top 15 female innovators in business.
The report lauded her for bringing feminine
touches to big-box CE merchandising, like placing
a comfy couch in front of a big-screen display on
Sam’s Club sales floors, and creating homey product
images online. “The experience has to speak for
itself,” she said, rather than simply providing a list of
product features.

Her mantra, she told the website, is “Stay in love
with the customers, not with what you sell.”