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Walgreens Executive Moves Expand Store Initiatives, Wal-Mart Hires

Walgreens announced new executive appointments on Friday that indicate that it is boosting its ability to drive more sales from existing stores and that it retains a fondness for executives who worked for Wal-Mart.

The drug store chain appointed Wade Miquelon executive vice president and CFO, and John Spina corporate vice president of retail integration and new format development. Miquelon was executive vice president and CFO for Tyson Foods before joining Walgreens as senior vice president and chief financial officer in June 2008. Spina had been Walgreens vice president and treasurer, but in his new role, he will drive a more focused approach to how Walgreens integrates new businesses, develops new store concepts and increases performance from existing store formats through more flexible layout.

"There's no one better to take on this new challenge as we seek more innovative ways to leverage the best store network in America." said Walgreens CEO Craig Wasson.

Walgreens is certainly the biggest drug store network in the country, and Wasson's statement is significant when the company's earlier announcements that it would depend less upon store growth to drive results and more on getting greater productivity form existing locations are considered. The company has initiated efforts such as Customer Centric Retailing, which reduces the number of general merchandise and related items the company carries to increase the proportion of the most popular products, reducing selling costs and applying data the company collects to make the assortment carried by stores more appropriate to customer needs. The company also has launched an initiative designed to move many pharmacy administrative tasks that have been performed at store level to the company's automatic prescription refill facilities. The POWER pharmacy initiative is designed to provide store pharmacists more time to consult on health issues with customers and build professional relationships.

In addition to Miquelon and Spina, Walgreens revealed three other executive appointments Friday, Drug Store News reported. The company promoted Bruce Schmiedl to divisional vice president of facilities planning, design and engineering. He had been director of those activities. It also promoted Bob Roscoe to divisional vice president in charge of property acquisition and development, and specialty real estate from director of asset development. Those moves, along with how Spina's responsibilities have been laid out, suggest that the company will be investing more resources into developing both new product presentations and store concepts.

And speaking of product presentation, Walgreens appointed Steve Broughton general merchandising manager and divisional vice president for consumables. Broughton is the latest in a series of former Wal-Mart executives that Walgreens has appointed to key merchandising positions. Just last month, Walgreens announced the appointment of Shannon Petree, a one-time Wal-Mart director/senior buyer, beauty, to the post of divisional vice president/general merchandise manager for beauty and personal care, while simultaneously naming Eddie Frail, a former Wal-Mart vice president/general merchandise manager for seasonal, hard lines and sundries, as divisional vice president/general merchandise manager for seasonal and general merchandise.