Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer to Step Down
In what came as a surprise to many in the retail industry, Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer announced that she’s stepping down. Brewer became Sam’s Club’s top executive after being in charge of the warehouse division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for five years. Sam’s Club announced the leadership change Friday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Brewer will retire Feb. 1 from a role she has held with the company since February 2012, and will be replaced by John Furner, who is currently Sam’s Club’s chief merchandising officer.
Total Retail’s Take: Some of the notable developments for Sam’s Club under Brewer’s leadership included digital programs like the drive-thru club pickup service and a scan-and-go program throughout its 650 stores. Brewer’s “transformation” plan for the $57 billion business also included the consolidation of its private label brands. Also, while same-store sales at Sam’s Club were down 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, sales increased 0.1 percent, 0.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in the first three quarters of fiscal 2017. However, some retail experts believe that Sam’s Club has remained a step or two behind Costco, and that while Brewer laid a good foundation, more work has to be done and opportunities to explore at Sam’s.