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Sam’s Club taps company veteran as new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

Wal-Mart Stores has appointed John Furner to succeed Rosalind Brewer, who is retiring as chief executive of Sams’ Club next month. Furner will assume the role of executive VP, president and CEO of the warehouse club chain on Feb. 1.

Furner, 42, has served as executive VP and chief merchandising officer of Sam’s Club since October 2015. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles with the company, including senior VP and chief merchandising officer of Walmart China; senior VP, home and apparel and global sourcing; and senior VP, proprietary brands and merchandising solutions.

Furner joined Walmart as an hourly store associate in 1993 and served in a variety of roles before being promoted to VP/divisional merchandise manager in 2006.

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Nordstrom creates new executive role

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom has added the title of chief innovation officer to its executive team.

The department store retailer named company veteran Geevy Thomas to the new position. Thomas, who most recently served as president of Nordstrom Rack, brings 34 years of experience in all areas of Nordstrom to this role, beginning as a salesperson and then moving into store, regional and buying management roles.

“Our new chief innovation officer and his team will lead the most forward-looking customer-centric effort that Nordstrom has taken on to date,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom.

The new Innovation team will be tasked with helping the company ideate how its full-line stores of the future will better serve customers through further integration of digital and mobile.

“We’re looking to answer big questions and to get there, we’re giving our Nordstrom Innovation team the ability to move quickly and boldly to find solutions for the stores of tomorrow right out of the gate today,” continued Nordstrom. “Creating a fully separate team will help remove restrictions or boundaries around what’s possible for the Innovation team to test and try.”

Replacing Thomas as president of Nordstrom Rack is Karen McKibbin as president, Nordstrom Rack. A 30-year Nordstrom veteran, McKibbin most recently was the company’s first president of Nordstrom Canada. She was named to the role in 2012, leading the company’s efforts to serve customers through its first international venture. She and her team opened five of the company’s six planned stores (with one to come in 2017).

McKibbin began her Nordstrom career in 1985 as a stockperson.

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Proposed Republican tax reforms would hit these retailers the hardest

BY CSA STAFF

Apparel retailers might be in for tough going if proposed tax reforms pass.

Among the measures that the House Republicans have proposed is a border-adjusted tax — a destination-basis tax — that would make it more expensive for U.S. companies to bring back their products for domestic sale. Apparel retailers top a list of the industries that would be most at risk by such a tax, according to a report by Business Insider.

"Apparel retailers have a relatively large proportion of goods that are imported (particularly as they tend to be more vertically integrated)," said Ike Boruchow, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo, in a recent note, according to the report.

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