News Briefs


Floor & Decor in milestone store opening

Floor & Decor

Floor & Decor continues to expand its store footprint.

The retailer, which specializes in hard-surface flooring for homeowners and professionals, has opened its 200th store, in Metairie, La.  The 71,437-sq.-ft. store is Floor & Decor’s fourth location in Louisiana. The company plans to open approximately 32 to 35 stores in fiscal 2023.

In April 2023, Floor & Decor was among the top five companies on Yelp’s “Most Loved Brands” list, the company's first-ever list honoring the 50 most loved retail, restaurant and foods brands on its platform.

We are so excited to expand our footprint in Louisiana and to celebrate this 200th store milestone in Metairie,” said Tom Taylor, CEO of Floor & Decor. “We are eager to get to know the Pro customers and the homeowners in the area. We look forward to welcoming everyone into our store and helping them turn their vision into reality.”

Founded in 2000, Atlanta-based Floor & Decor operates 194 warehouse-format stores and five design studios across 36 states. Stores offer a broad in-stock selection of tile, natural wood, natural stone, laminate and luxury vinyl plank, along with free design services.

 In addition, Floor & Decor stores carry the necessary tools, decorative materials, wall tile and related accessories for hard-surface flooring projects

In its most recently completed year, Floor & Decor’s net sales increased 24.2% to $4.264 billion from $3.433 billion in fiscal 2021. Comparable store sales increased 9.2%. Net income increased 5.3% to $298.2 million. Earnings per share were $2.78 compared to $2.64 in fiscal 2021.


Walgreens sells some AmerisourceBergen shares — for $644 million

village md

Walgreens Boots Alliance has sold additional shares in drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp.

The pharmacy and health care giant has sold some of its shares in AmerisourceBergen for $694 million, with proceeds from the sale being used primarily to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.

In addition, AmerisourceBergen will repurchase about $50 million of its common stock from Walgreens in the transaction, said Walgreens and its ownership of AmerisourceBergen's common stock would remain at 17%. (In December, Walgreens sold some AmerisourceBergen shares for $1 billion last December, cutting its ownership in the company from 20% to 17%.)

The sale has no impact on the long-term partnership between the two companies, stated Walgreens, which said it remains fully committed to the “strategic, mutually beneficial” relationship with AmerisourceBergen. Ornella Barra, COO, International, of Walgreens, will continue to serve on AmerisourceBergen’s board of directors.

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s ownership of AmerisourceBergen’s common stock has decreased as a result of the concurrent share repurchase by AmerisourceBergen but remains at approximately 17%.


Walmart names longtime exec as chief merchant

Latriece Watkins

Walmart did not waste any time in filling a critical role in its C-suite.

The retail giant named company veteran Latriece Watkins as executive VP, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. She succeeds Charles Redfield, who stepped down from the role (as of May 1), but is continuing in an advisory role. 

According to Walmart’s web site, Watkins joined the company 24 years ago. She has served in a variety of key leadership roles within Walmart U.S. merchandising, human resources and store operations. Most recently, she was the executive VP of the Walmart U.S. consumables division.

Watkins steps into her new role as the retail giant and other retailers are challenged by a weak sales environment as consumers cut back on discretionary spending. In February, Walmart offered weak guidance for the year ahead.

“Because she has worked in so many different areas of the business, Latriece brings a 360-degree approach to her leadership, all while keeping customers at the center,” the company said on its website.


PepsiCo. exec to head marketing at Sephora U.S.

About half of CEOs report some problems attracting qualified workers.

Sephora U.S. is getting a new chief marketer whose resume includes eight years at Google.

The beauty powerhouse has appointed Zena Srivatsa Arnold as its new chief marketing officer, effective early this summer. She succeeds Deborah Yee, who held the role for nearly eight years, until December and is still with Sephora as global chief purpose officer.  (Sephora is owned by global retail conglomerate LVMH.)

Srivatsa Arnold joins Sephora’s U.S. division as it is being led by a new CEO. Guillaume Motte took the reins of the company in January 2023. He previously served as deputy CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group, and was CEO and president of Sephora’s Europe and Middle East division.  (Sephora is owned by fashion conglomerate LVMH.

Most recently Srivatsa Arnold served as  senior VP, carbonated soft drinks at PepsiCo. Prior to that, from 2020 to 2022, she was chief digital and marketing officer at Kimberly-Clark.

Before Kimberly- Clark, Srivatsa Arnold spent seven years at Google, including serving as global head of growth, ChromeOS.   She also held senior leadership roles at Kellogg Company and Procter & Gamble. 

In March, Sephora teamed up with with TikTok and digital marketing agency Digitas to roll out the Sephora x TikTok Incubator Program. The initiative connect TikTok creators with select beauty brands with the goal of helping them learn social content strategies through a series of educational training modules.


BJ’s names new chairman

Bob Eddy

The chief executive of BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings has been given an additional title.

The membership warehouse club retailer’s board of directors has appointed BJ’s president and CEO Bob Eddy as chairman, effective June 15, 2023. He will succeed Chris Baldwin, who will remain on the company’s board as a director.

Eddy, who has served on the board since 2021, joined BJ’s in 2007. He was named executive VP and CFO in 2011 and served as executive VP chief financial and administrative officer from 2018 to April 2021, when he was appointed president and CEO, succeeding Lee Delaney who passed away unexpectedly.

Prior to joining Eddy served retail and consumer products companies as a member of the audit and business advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Boston and San Francisco.

In March, BJ’s announced the addition of five new clubs to its 2023 expansion plans, including its first-ever location in Alabama, increasing BJ’s footprint to 20 states.

“We have observed Bob’s clear passion for the company in the boardroom as well as through the successful execution of our long-term vision,” said Rob Steele, the board’s lead independent director. “We believe that Bob’s role as chairman and chief executive officer will further strengthen the collaborative relationship between management and the board, balanced with appropriate oversight embodied in our independent directors and in my role as lead independent director.”

Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., BJ’s operates 237 clubs and 167 BJ’s Gas locations in 18 states.


Uber Eats, Amazon enable order tracking via Alex

Uber Eats with Alexa

U.S. consumers can now track their food orders directly through Alexa Echo devices.

Uber Technologies said that U.S. consumers can now use their Amazon Echo devices to track the status of Uber Eats orders. The new integration provides real-time, hands-free order tracking for Echo users across the country.

Alexa can give consumers timely updates on critical points in the delivery process — starting when an order is being prepared through to when the driver is arriving and when the order is delivered.

Consumers can decide how to receive updates. They can choose, for example, to have Alexa announce when there's a status change to their order from one or all of their household devices.  Or they can choose to receive an Alexa notification instead — the light on their Echo device will change to yellow, and consumers can ask, "Alexa, what's my notification.”

“Simple ambient experiences let customers be more present with family and friends — they don't need to be distracted by checking for delivery updates on their mobile apps," said Mark Yoshitake, general manager and director of Alexa Skills. "Now, customers can settle in for their favorite movie and trust Alexa to let them know when their driver is approaching with their order, or update them if there is a material change to the estimated delivery time. It's yet another example of how Alexa is helping make customers' lives easier."

Amazon is Uber's third partner in the voice-activated space, after announcing partnerships with Google Assistant and Apple's Siri for voice ordering integrations within the last year.