Bentonville, Arkansas

Wal-Mart is launching a service allowing customers to pick up their tax refunds in cash at all stores nationwide. It's the discounter's latest move to offer more financial services, which is seen as a path to bringing more shoppers into its stores. The world's largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., says the process will take the same time as if customers were to file their returns electronically and then get direct deposit, which could take just a week, says Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart's U.S. division.

Wal-Mart is making Black Friday a weeklong event, shifting away from the chaotic one-day sales that once epitomized the day after Thanksgiving. The "New Black Friday" will include five days of sales on and in stores, starting at 12:01 a.m. online on Thanksgiving and running through Cyber Monday, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said in a statement today. "Black Friday has become Black Friday week," Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart's chief merchandising officer, told reporters yesterday. "Our customers want to shop when they want to shop so we're trying to expand the times and product availability with them."

Wal-Mart named 13 executives to its U.S. merchandising operations, marking the latest shake-up since CEO Doug McMillon took the reins in February. As part of the changes, Scott Huff will be promoted to executive vice president overseeing merchandising operations for the U.S., according to a company memo sent by U.S. Chief Merchandising Officer Duncan Mac Naughton. Huff has been at Wal-Mart since 1994, when he started as an intern. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company also named new executives to oversee everything from consumables and sales innovation to baby products and adult beverages.

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