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Walmart appoints Latriece Watkins as U.S. chief merchandising officer

Watkins' appointment comes less than a month after the news that Charles Redfield would step down from the position on May 1.
 Latriece Watkins
 Latriece Watkins

Walmart has appointed Latriece Watkins as its U.S. chief merchandising officer. The WSJ first reported the news, citing a memo sent to staff on May 5.

Last month, Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner wrote to associates that Charles Redfield would step down from the role and assume an advisory role supporting the U.S. business effective May 1.

A spokesperson provided Furner's memo to Drug Store News. The memo reads:

"We often say the only constant thing at Walmart is change. In merchandising, that change has looked like expanding assortments, a growingly complex supply chain, evolving supplier relationships and unique economic times. Through it all, the team has persevered and built on our collective strength.

We have a rich history of strong leaders who embrace this constant change, set bold visions for our teams and best represent the humanity that is Walmart. I’ve long admired those qualities in Latriece Watkins, who I’m pleased to announce has been named Chief Merchandising Officer – Walmart U.S., effective immediately.

Many of you already know Latriece from her many roles across Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club. She joined the company 24 years ago as an intern in the Real Estate division while pursuing her law degree at the University of Arkansas. Luckily for us, she decided to build a career at Walmart and has served in a variety of key leadership roles within merchandising, human resources and store operations.

In her most recent role as EVP of Consumables for Walmart U.S., Latriece led her team to accelerate top-line sales through supplier partnerships, increased innovation, and improved customer experiences. She has also led several important strategic initiatives including our Shared Value Network team, focused on leveraging our company’s strengths and expertise to increase racial equity within the criminal justice system.

Those of you who have worked with Latriece know she is a merchant at heart and has a talent and passion for developing future leaders. Her enthusiasm, talent and deep experience helped establish the omni merchandising strategy we have today, and her focus on customers and members will only strengthen our position in the future.

Please join me in congratulating Latriece. I’m excited to see our merchandising team excel in its mission to be the customer’s first choice under her leadership."

[Read more: Charles Redfield to step down as Walmart’s chief merchandising officer]

Watkins earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Spelman College and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

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