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Davis named Walmart’s global consumer insights chief

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has named Cindy Davis EVP of its global consumer insights business unit created two weeks ago as part of a larger corporate restructuring.

Davis, who joined Walmart in 2007 and previously served as EVP membership and marketing for Sam’s Club, will continue to report to Sam’s Club president and CEO Brian Cornell, although she will be responsible for understanding broad consumer trends worldwide and for creating advanced analytical tools to support the business.

“Cindy is uniquely suited to lead the development of our new world-class global customer insights team for Walmart,” Cornell said. “She is a leader that understands the importance of putting the customer at the center of everything we do and the power insights can have on business decision-making. She has demonstrated an ability to build teams and capabilities that deliver business performance today while preparing us to capitalize on our business potential for the future.”

Prior to Sam’s Club, Davis spent more than 20 years with such companies as Harrah’s Entertainment, Starwood and Promus Hotels, Pizza Hut, BBDO, TracyLocke and Rapp Collins Worldwide.

"One of the greatest benefits of being a global organization is the opportunity to share best practices and talent across each of our divisions and around the world,” Davis said. “Understanding customer insights enables us to focus on what our customers want, and [to] make informed decisions throughout the organization — bringing shoppers the products, brands and services they want in every country we serve.”

The appointment of Davis follows creation of the new global insight unit two weeks ago, which essentially combines existing insights teams headed by Pam Whiteside, VP customer insights for Walmart; Linda Vytlacil, VP member insights and innovations for Sam’s Club; and Jim Scantlin, a senior director in information systems.

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M.Onaa says:
Jul-26-2013 07:34 am

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Blood-glucose levels indicator of retinopathy risk

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Individuals who have higher blood-glucose levels and poorer control of those levels over time appear more likely to develop eye-related complications 10 years later, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Ophthalmology published Monday.

The high blood-glucose levels accompanying diabetes are known to be associated with microvascular complications, including the eye condition retinopathy, according to background information in the article. “However, some controversy concerns the actual value of this glycemic threshold for identifying retinopathy,” wrote Pascale Massin of Hôpital Lariboisière in Paris and lead researcher. “It is now well established that the nondiabetic population also has retinopathy, albeit at a lower frequency than patients with diabetes and in a milder form, indicating that there may be factors other than fasting plasma glucose levels that increase the risk of retinopathy.”

The study examined the retinas of 700 men and women (average age 52) who were enrolled to participate. Out of that group, 44 were diagnosed with retinopathy. Compared with those without retinopathy, those with the condition had higher average levels of fasting plasma glucose 10 years prior (130 mg vs. 106 mg per deciliter) and higher HbA1C (6.4% vs. 5.7%).

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Report: Spending on positive trend

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Total retail sales grew 5.5% during the month of January, according to MasterCard Advisors’ "SpendingPulse" report.

The increase underscored that shopping and spending maintained its momentum, following a strong holiday season. The last two months, MasterCard Advisors noted, marked the strongest growth rate for total U.S. retail sales (excluding autos) since April 2010. Additionally, "year-to-year growth for three-month totals stood at 4.9% in January, the highest growth rate since August 2007," MasterCard Advisors reported.

Spending grew in every part of the country, with the best unadjusted year-over results in the South Central and Southeast regions, which posted 9.7% and 7.7% growth, respectively.

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