Walmart’s U.S. Chief Merchandising Officer to Step Down

Charles Redfield exiting role as retailer faces difficult year
Walmart Charles Redfield Main Image
Charles Redfield

The chief merchandising officer for Walmart’s U.S. operations is leaving the job as the company deals with slower sales and profit growth. Charles Redfield’s impending departure was revealed in an internal memo shared with U.S. associates on April 14, according to published reports.

Redfield, who has been with Walmart for 32 years, will step down from his current role on May 1 but stay on in an advisory role. In the memo, Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said that the executive wants to spend more time with his family. Redfield assumed the role of chief merchandising officer in January 2022.

The move comes as Walmart grapples with higher grocery prices and sluggish sales of traditional holiday products. Despite these setbacks, Walmart saw an 8.3% sales uptick during its latest quarter ended Jan. 31 at U.S. stores open for at least one year, thanks to more customers purchasing its private label brands and more higher-income households shopping at its stores. The retail industry as a whole is expected to face challenges this year after underwhelming holiday sales, CNN reported. 

Redfield started out as a Sam’s Club cashier while at the University of Arkansas. He then became an assistant manager at Sam’s Club and steadily rose through the ranks. Redfield was named chief merchandising officer for Asda, Walmart’s U.K. subsidiary, in 2010. Two years later, he was appointed EVP of merchandising for Sam’s Club and became EVP for Walmart U.S. in 2015.

According to Furner, the company will name a successor soon.

Walmart also revealed that it was selling its menswear brand Bonobos at a steep loss to management firm WHP Global and retailer Express Inc. for $75 million. Walmart acquired the brand back in 2017 for $310 million.

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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