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Bartell names retail veteran as CEO

BY Ryan Chavis

Brian Unmacht (left) and George D. Bartell

SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs on Wednesday announced the appointment of Brian Unmacht as CEO. He was named president of the chain in January 2015. George Bartell has been the company’s CEO for the past 25 years and will continue to serve as chairman, the company stated. Jean Bartell Barber is the company’s vice chairman and treasurer.
 
Unmacht joined Bartell Drugs following a nearly three-decade career with REI where he held a number of senior positions, including EVP and COO. He joined Bartell Drugs’ board of directors in 2011. 
 
“Brian’s dedication to customer service, well-developed leadership skills and grasp of our day-to-day operations has been quickly demonstrated. In his expanded role, he will play a very important leadership role in positioning us for long range growth,” George Bartell said. 
 
Unmacht said the company’s commitment to customer service has not wavered since 1890. “It’s not only part of our heritage, it’s a key element for our future success here in the Puget Sound area,” he said. “We’re very focused on serving neighborhoods throughout the region to meet their health and wellness needs.”
 
Members of the Bartell family are engaged in the company’s succession transition, including Evelyn Barber, who is rejoining the organization this year upon completion of graduate school, the company stated. 

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Walmart to build 115 new stores in China by 2017, upgrade 50 this year

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

BEIJING, China — Walmart Stores unveiled plans to countermand slowed growth in China with 115 new stores in the country by 2017 and creating some 30,000 jobs. The announcement adds about 35 new stores to the retailer’s building plans as Walmart previously targeted 480 total stores in China by 2016, up from around 400 now.
 
CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement that "China is a key strategic market for Walmart. Over the next three years we will increase investment across our diverse business operations in China.”
 
The 115 new stores are slated for Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan between 2015 and 2017; the company also announced it would invest $60 million to remodel more than 50 stores this year.
 
Walmart has faced slower growth in China’s challenging retail environment, recording a net sales decline of 0.7% for the quarter ended Jan. 31. The retailer has responded with plans to shutter some under-performing stores and ramp up its online grocery offerings via e-commerce arm Yihaodian.com and a new mobile app slated for the near future.
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Three industry titans recognized by NACDS

BY Michael Johnsen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Tuesday evening recognized three industry titans – former Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson was awarded the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award and both David Heist, a Bayer executive, and Energizer's Lou Martire were awarded the Robert B. Begley Award. 
 
The Sheldon “Bud” W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1989 to recognize exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the industry.  Chain pharmacy’s highest honor, it was renamed in 1996 in honor of Bud Fantle of People’s Drug Stores. 
 
“Greg Wasson is fully-deserving of this lifetime recognition award,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson. “He has served the industry for more than 35 years with a strong commitment and passion for pharmacy, patients and customers.  I valued Greg’s astute industry vision when we worked together during his tenure as NACDS chairman. And tonight we congratulate him on this distinctive pharmacy honor.”
  
Wasson began his career as a Walgreens pharmacist in 1980 and over his nearly 35-years of industry served in several positions including president of health initiatives, EVP and president and COO. Following the completion of the global merger with Alliance Boots, Wasson retired as president and CEO in December 2014.  During his industry career he also served as chairman of the NACDS Board of Directors. 
 
The Robert B. Begley Award – established in 1980 – is named in memory of former NACDS chairman of the board Robert B. Begley.  It honors an individual who possess qualities of great personal warmth, generous spirit and long-time service to our industry.
 
“With combined experience that surpasses 75 years in the industry, David Heist and Lou Martire are true leaders who have set the bar high for the work they have done to further the industry,” said Anderson. “Their service, commitment and dedication are examples to those who will continue to serve the industry in years to come. We congratulate them on receiving the Robert B. Begley Award, and wish them well in their well-deserved retirements.” 
 
Heist, who has announced he will retire this May, has served 20 years as director of industry affairs and customer relations  with Bayer Consumer Care.  Prior to Bayer, Heist held sales and trade relations positions at companies including, SmithKline, Menley & James, Alco Standard, Vita-Fresh Vitamin Co and Mennen.  
 
Since his first day in 1972, Martire has served in various increased capacities with Energizer Holdings. He will retire this May following 42 years of service with the company. 
 
All three award recipients were recognized by their colleagues, friends and family at the NACDS Annual Meeting dinner and awards ceremony last evening. 
 
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