USA: New Sam’s Club CEO sets forth 3 goals on day one
ohn Furner, who began his new role as president and CEO of Sam’s Club Wednesday, will focus on three big areas: people, product and digital.
Regarding people: “We need to engage everyone, at all levels of the company, in the fight we’re in. We need to put our members first and have everyone pulling in the same direction,” Furner stated in a blogged interview currently on Walmart’s website.
As for products: “The products we sell have to be the hero. People don’t shop our clubs for the beautiful buildings – we have concrete floors and steel racks. They come to us for great items, and we must get that right.”
And for digital: “I’m committed to accelerating our digital transformation. We saw tremendous growth last year with SamClub.com Club Pickup and Scan & Go. We must continue to move with speed in this space and use member data and insights to quickly adapt and meet the needs of the increasingly digital consumer.”
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Furner added his focus on his first day in the new role is simplifying the business and “thinking differently.” “We have a lot of hard work and new opportunities ahead of us and each associate at Sam’s Club will play a role in getting there,” he said.
Furner, who has served in roles at both Walmart and Sam’s Club, started as an hourly associate in 1993. He said it’s been quite a journey since then.
“It’s been an amazing ride and it all starts with your typical ‘boy joins rock band, rock band breaks up, boy needs job, boy gets job at Walmart’ story,” he said. “It was 1993 and I was in college and also part of a fun little band on the side. The band broke up, so I needed to find a new job to help pay for some of my expenses. My dad worked for the company and he loved it, so it made my decision easier. I applied for a position as an hourly associate at the Walmart Supercenter in Bentonville, Arkansas, got the job and did whatever needed to get done in the store. 23-plus years, 16 or 17 jobs and three countries later, I feel like I’ve learned the business of Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club and Walmart International from the bottom up. With the support of my wife, Brandy, and our four kids, I’m honored and excited to be stepping into the role as President and CEO of Sam’s Club.”
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