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Walmart appoints ex-American Express exec as chief customer officer

US grocer Walmart has appointed ex-American Express executive Janey Whiteside to the new role of chief customer officer.

Focused on attracting shoppers and improving customer service, Whiteside will begin the role on 1 August.

Reuters reported the news after obtaining a memo sent to employees by Walmart US CEO Greg Foran and eCommerce boss Marc Lore. The role will help Walmart bridge the gap between online and physical retailing, with Whiteside responsible for both areas of the business based in Hoboken, New Jersey, where Walmart’s Jet.com is headquartered.

Whiteside’s time at American Express included senior roles in areas such as relationship management, marketing and customer engagement.

According to Reuters, the memo said: “Janey will play a critical role looking after our brand and thinking through the customer journey – from acquiring new customers to their shopping experience and resolving any issues they may have.”

In other digital news from Walmart, it was announced last week that the retailer’s eCommerce division has launched 3D Virtual Shopping Tour, which allows customers to take a virtual shopping tour of a curated apartment of nearly 70 items from brands and private label offerings.

As they explore the apartment online, shoppers click on different products in each room to receive additional information.

Walmart will also launch ‘Buy the Room’ in July, which will make it possible for customers to add a group of items to a shopping cart and buy a complete look. Initially, there will be five curated collections with each room featuring up to 20 of the most popular items searched for by college students.

“As someone who is obsessed with good design, I would have loved to have such a stylish living space when I was in school,” explained Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president and group general manager for home at Walmart’s US eCommerce division.

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