Report: Wal-Mart to Revamp Apparel Unit, Lay Off Dozens
New York City Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is set to shake up its sluggish apparel unit by shutting two divisions at its Arkansas headquarters, eliminating dozens of positions and moving dozens more to New York, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Representatives at Wal-Mart were not immediately available for comment. The report, citing an internal statement, said the company would close its product-development and sourcing divisions.
Wal-Mart is aiming to strip excess costs and promote low prices as its core, lower-income shoppers are being squeezed by a deteriorating housing market, higher food and fuel costs and a credit market crunch.
In other news, Wal-Mart is set to announce a partnership with Disney for more than 150 products based on the Disney Channel’s popular series “Hannah Montana.” The show has transformed its star Miley Cyrus, 15, into a real-life pop star.
Wal-Mart plans to offer a line of licensed Hannah Montana goods, from clothing to food, that will target girls ages 6 to 14. The chain will set up in-store “Hannah Montana Shops” in about 750 locations.
Imperial Sugar names new ceo
SUGAR LAND, Texas Imperial Sugar today confirmed the appointment of John Sheptor as president and ceo and elected him to its board of directors, replacing Robert Peiser in each of these capacities.
Sheptor joined Imperial as evp and coo in February 2007 and has been responsible for all operations, logistics, sales, marketing, customer service and commodities management areas that support Imperial’s evolving go-to-market strategies. Prior to joining Imperial, he held the position of project director from 2005 to 2007 for the supply chain management system initiative funded under President Bush’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief in Washington, DC.
Imperial’s chairman of the board James Gaffney said, “Speaking for our entire board, we look forward to building on past accomplishments with John as our new chief executive. We all think that his talents, experience and vision, which include significant international activities, a focus on R&D and an extensive operations background, are very consistent with the current needs of the company.”
Wal-Mart manages global supply risk
AUSTIN, Texas Wal-Mart has selected Strategic Forecasting to assess and rank security risk for countries in its global supply chain. According to the company, Wal-Mart is now requiring its supplier’s to use Strategic Forecasting’s Supply Risk Monitoring service.
Under the agreement Strategic Forecasting will provide Wal-Mart with a comprehensive supply chain security risk monitoring service whereby countries within Wal-Mart’s supply chain are ranked as high, medium or low for risks associated with the supply chain infrastructure. Using a unique analytical methodology the service will monitor and evaluate countries based on risks from terrorism, insurrection, crime, the political and regulatory environment, natural disasters, as well as several other factors related to supply chain infrastructure to produce a quantifiable measure of the actual risk to a nation’s supply chain.
George Friedman, founder and ceo of Strategic Forecasting said that “Working with Wal-Mart is a great honor and responsibility for Stratfor. We believe our supply risk monitor tool will enable Wal-Mart to better evaluate the security risk levels of countries it deals with in its supply chain.”