Charles Redfield, Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, is stepping down

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Walmart Chief Merchandising Officer Charles Redfield is stepping down next month.

Walmart US CEO John Furner said in an employee memo Friday that Redfield will be leaving the role effective May 1 to spend more time with his family. He will remain with the company as a consultant. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Redfield’s departure.

Redfield, a 32-year Walmart veteran, is leaving the company as retailers navigate a tougher selling environment. Walmart issued a weaker-than-expected outlook for the upcoming fiscal year in February, saying it expects same-store sales for Walmart US to rise between 2% and 2.5% excluding fuel. The company reiterated that guidance at an investor event in Tampa, Fla. last week.

CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC that consumers are becoming more price conscious as groceries, homes and other items cost more due to inflation. That has led to less spending on items like clothing and electronics.

“They just don’t have that many dollars to buy durable goods,” he said. “And a lot of those people bought a lot of necessities in 2020, 2021 – new patio equipment, new TVs – they just gotta have one. So we have to manage that impact of the mix and that’s part of the reason our leadership is where it’s at.”

Redfield became Walmart’s chief merchandising officer in January 2022, overseeing the company’s supplier relationships and strategy across all categories from grocery to general merchandise. He began his career at Walmart as a cashier at Sam’s Club while attending the University of Arkansas, rising through the ranks to become an assistant manager.

In 2010, before becoming Walmart’s chief merchant, he was appointed Chief Merchandising Officer of Asda, a UK supermarket chain that acquired and later sold Walmart. He later served as executive vice president of merchandising at Sam’s Club and executive vice president of food at Walmart US

Redfield is “a true advocate for the customer,” especially given rising costs, Furner said in Friday’s company-wide email.

“Whether shopping online or in stores, his focus is to ensure customers can always find the items they need and want, at the lowest possible prices. Especially as inflation soared, Charles and his team have worked hard with suppliers to drive prices down and give customers value when they need it most.”

Furner said Redfield’s replacement will be announced soon.

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