Ohm Takes The Reins Of Walmart CE

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

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.”


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