ECOMMERCE

Walmart not combining stores and online buying teams

BY Marianne Wilson

Despite an earlier report to the contrary, Walmart is not combining its online and store buying functions.

Reuters had reported that the discounter was combining its online and store buying operations as it moves to make itself more competitive with Amazon. The report was picked up by numerous media outlets.

Based on information from Walmart, however, the chain is not merging the stores and walmart.com buying teams. The two will continue to operate as two separate teams.

Walmart is streamlining the process for store items to appear online. If an item is available for sale in the store, it will now also be approved for the online assortment, and the stores’ buyer will be able to purchase those items for both channels.

“This is part of a continued effort to better serve customers by creating a more efficient process that accelerates how we bring the full assortment of products in stores to Walmart.com,” Walmart said in a statement. “It also allows for Walmart.com buyers to focus on expanding the online assortment.”

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C-SUITE

Amazon taps Bezos advisor for important new role

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A key advisor to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been appointed to a new position in the company — one that reflects its continued focus on delivery infrastructure.

Maria Renz, who served as technical advisor to Bezos for the past two years, has been named to the new role of VP of delivery experience, reported Recode.

Renz was the first woman to serve in this advisor role. Amazon’s top executive team features just one woman — principal accounting officer Shelley Reynolds.

The promotion, featured on Renz’s LinkedIn bio, doesn’t describe her new responsibilities. But the Recode report suggests that she will oversee Amazon’s countless efforts to handle customer deliveries internally, rather than relying on UPS and the Postal Service.

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FINANCE

Report: BJ’s Wholesale Club owners eyeing sale or IPO

BY Marianne Wilson

BJ’s Wholesale Club could see a change in ownership.

The company’s private equity owners, Leonard Green & Partners and CVS Capital Partners Ltd., are hiring investment bankers to advise them on options, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The two buyout firms acquired BJ’s in 2011 for approximately $3 billion. The retailer, which is based in Westborough, Massachusetts, operates 213 stores and 130 BJ's Gas locations 15 states.

BJs has 25K employees and more than $11B in annual sales.

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