- Walmart chief marketing officer Tony Rogers is moving over to head the retail giant’s Sam’s Club division as chief member officer, according to AdAge. Walmart didn’t immediately return Retail Dive’s request for confirmation and more details.
- The retail giant hasn’t yet found a replacement for Rogers, who leaves late next month to take up the newly created role at Sam’s Club, according to the report.
- Sam’s Club has untapped potential when it comes to both marketing and e-commerce, though change won’t lead to advertising or operations on the scale of Sam’s Club’s parent, Rogers told AdAge’s Jack Neff.
Rogers worked with Sam’s Club CEO John Furner in China, and the approach there — and the small bore marketing and tech-enabled checkout and customer communications that Walmart and Sam’s Club employ in China will likely be their focus here.
Sam’s Club this week said it's planning a new store in the Dallas area that will offer Scan & Go self-checkout, among other high-tech capabilities, for example. That store will provide a more digital experience and have improved capabilities, including fast membership sign-up, self-serve returns and digital signage throughout. Much of the inventory will revolve around frequently purchased consumables and convenience items, groceries and grab ‘n go meals.
And a boost to e-commerce is already in the works. Walmart in January shuttered 63 Sam's Club stores and is working to convert as many as 12 of them to e-commerce fulfillment centers. The move has benefitted rivals Costco and BJ's Wholesale, as both similarly positioned retailers reported picking up members and employees from those closed locations.
Costco CFO Richard Galanti said in a conference call in March that the company expects to gain some 10% or 20% of Sam's Club's business — so low in part because most of the Sam's Club locations aren't all that close to a Costco. Still, "with all the other buckets, even a small bucket is a nice thing to have," Galanti said.
Sam's Club in February also announced several changes to its membership programs, including no-minimum free shipping for premium members on most items and delivery to most members within one or two days.