Walmart’s Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn will be retiring as of the final days of 2015. Who is replacing him? Well someone familiar if you follow this sort of thing with big box stores, Michael Francis, the marketing exec who helped to give Target it’s affordable but fun and stylish image. Michael worked at Target for almost 30 years so he does bring a lot of expertise to the opinion. Michael did work at JC Penney for about 8 months, but when he tried the same tactics that his customers at Target had loved, it just didn’t work out, hence the short stay.
Experts believe that Walmart hired Francis because they want to reach more upper and middle class consumers, instead of the mostly lower income people they serve today. In preparation for this, they have been making lots of other changes, with useful apps, raising the pay in their stores, and other marketing initiatives that they hope will repair their image, which, according to some is pretty tarnished. Walmart’s controversy in recent years comes from alleged worker rights issues, and rumors that they prevent their store workers from organising. While Target has had similar rumors floating around, theirs haven’t come to the forefront of the media quite as much, so maybe Francis will do a good job for them as well.
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