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Report charts Walmart’s banking strategy

BY CSA STAFF

Madison, Wis. — A new report maps out the shape of Walmart’s retail financial services footprint in the United States and Mexico. The study, The Blended Walmart Business Model, published by the Filene Research Institute and written by Robert Manning, PhD, knits together the many angles of Walmart’s involvement in banking services: from its 2007 charter travails to its foray into Mexican banking and, most importantly, to its long-term strategy of providing financial services to ever more of its many customers — with or without a formal bank charter.

The report makes the case that Walmart still wants a bank charter. The potential from finance and penalty fees combined with interchange fee savings’ could easily garner more than $1.3 billion annually from Walmart’s payment card system and portfolio of customer credit-card balances, according to the study.

The study suggests Walmart’s plan is advancing even without a U.S. bank charter, and notes that while the retailer currently mainly offers ancillary financial products, it may soon operate in the more traditional business model of deposits and loans.

The nonprofit Filene Research Institute is a consumer finance think tank serving the North American credit union system of 100 million members and $950 billion in assets.

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Christopher & Banks CEO resigns; chief merchant out

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis — Christopher & Banks said Tuesday that its CEO Lorna Nagler has “resigned all positions with the company to pursue other interests” of Larry Barenbaum will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent top executive. He will continue in his role as chairman.

Christopher & Banks also said that effective immediately, chief merchandise officer Susan Connell is no longer with the retailer. Jules Rouse, who was general merchandise manager until 2008, will return to that position.

Nagler was hired as chief executive in August 2007 after serving as president of Lane Bryant. Connell, who had been general merchandising manager at Lane Bryant, joined Christopher & Banks as chief merchandising officer a couple months before Nagler arrived.

Nagler’s departure comes about three months after the company’s CFO Rodney Carter resigned.

Last month, Christopher & Banks reported its fiscal second-quarter loss widened as shoppers responded tepidly to new merchandise late in the quarter. Results for the company, which targets mostly women over 40 with above-average incomes, fell short of analysts’ expectations.

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Sudhoff to lead Henkel Consumer Goods

BY CSA STAFF

Scottsdale, Ariz. Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, located in Dusseldorf, Germany, announced that Stefan Sudhoff, corporate SVP Cosmetics/Toiletries at Henkel, has been appointed to lead Henkel Consumer Goods. Stefan Sudhoff succeeds Georg Baratta.

Sudhoff has been working with Henkel Cosmetics in various positions for almost 25 years. In addition to his responsibility for the Body Care strategic business unit and the Latin America and Central & Eastern Europe regions, he has also been responsible for the strategic steering of the North American Henkel Cosmetics business since 2006.

Henkel Consumer Goods is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., and markets a wide range of consumer brands including Dial soaps, Purex laundry detergents, Renuzit air fresheners and Right Guard antiperspirants. Henkel purchased The Dial Corp., located in Scottsdale, in 2004.

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