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Former Walmart executive named head of 8th & Walton

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A provider of retailer supplier education services has named a 31-year Walmart veteran as its president and CEO.

8th & Walton said Mike Cockrell, who most recently served as chief merchandising officer of Walmart’s Indian joint venture with Bharti before his retirement in February, would lead the company’s efforts to accelerate growth initiatives while enhancing existing services.

"We are excited to have an executive the caliber of Mike Cockrell join 8th & Walton as CEO as we enter a new phase of growth," said 8th & Walton co-founder Matt Fifer. "Mike distinguished himself during a 31-year career at Walmart, where he made important contributions to the company¹s growth, which is why I am confident his leadership and vision will allow 8th & Walton to realize its growth plans."

In related news, 8th & Walton also announced the appointment of Jeff Clapper as chief marketing officer and the promotion of Amanda Apple, who was promoted to director of operations after previously serving as operations manager.

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Walmart returns to form with pricing campaign

BY Gail Hoffer

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is looking to distinguish itself from the competition.

The retailer announced that it is reinvigorating its price leadership promise, bringing back products its customers have asked for and simplifying its ad match policy.

"Walmart’s reputation was founded on the principle of providing low prices day-in and day-out on the broadest assortment of merchandise," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. "Our company is determined to create the best one-stop shopping experience and low prices on the right products backed by a clear, consistent ad match policy."

In order to provide the best value to its customers, Walmart said its store managers and product buyers are checking the competition more often to help ensure its stores offer lower prices on the right mix of items. In addition, Walmart said it will work more closely with suppliers to lower the cost per item and pass those savings on to customers.

Walmart also has simplified its ad match policy by no longer requiring customers to bring in a competitor’s advertisement. If customers find a lower advertised price, Walmart said it will match it at the register. To ensure this policy is enforced, Walmart has implemented additional training for associates.

The company is looking to appeal to more customers by broadening product assortment by approximately 8,500 items or 11% in an average store. According to Walmart, these assortment changes will bring back customers’ favorite local food and consumables, among other products. Additions to dry grocery aisles have been in progress, the company said, and over the next few months, new products to fresh grocery and consumables will be added, and general merchandise categories will expand later this year.

Walmart said it will help customers identify these items with new "It’s Back" flags on store shelves later this month. In addition, the company is launching a national television advertising campaign, which Walmart said will help customers better understand its low-price promise and ad match guarantee on the widest assortment of products.

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P&G Future Friendly teams up with Recyclebank

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — In an effort to reward those that take everyday conservation actions, Procter & Gamble’s Future Friendly program has announced a national partnership with Recyclebank.

The announcement follows a successful collaboration between P&G Future Friendly and Recyclebank’s Cincinnati division, which enhanced the city’s recycling efforts.

How it works: Recyclebank motivates consumers to live more sustainable lifestyles by allowing them to earn Recyclebank points for increasing household recycling and reducing home energy usage. The points — which accrue as these efforts are increased — are redeemable for discounts and deals from more than 3,000 local and national businesses, P&G said. Additionally, Future Friendly also will provide Recyclebank members with opportunities to earn points through online educational content via the Recyclebank Learn & Earn platform, highlighting methods to save energy, save water and reduce waste within their homes.

"P&G’s Future Friendly is based on the premise that if we all take small steps together, we can collectively create a meaningful, measurable benefit for the environment," said Kirk Perry, VP North America for P&G. "The Recyclebank partnership’s dual focus on educating the public and rewarding consumers for improving their environmental performance is a natural fit for Future Friendly’s core mission."

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