Sam’s Club shares e-commerce insights

Less than two months after Sam’s Club named a new president and CEO, two of the warehouse club’s top executives are scheduled to weigh in on its digital direction at an event in late February.

Fred Quandt, vp of Sam’s Club eCommerce and Mark Williamson, senior manager of digital vendor marketing for Sam’s will offer an update on February 20 when they participate in an event hosted by an organization known as Doing Business in Bentonville. Quandt joined Sam’s in the fall of 2008 as a vp of merchandising and was named vp of e-commerce in the summer of 2011 to develop and execute the vision and strategy for Samsclub.com. Williamson has spent four years with Sam’s and manages supplier integration into digital properties.

The timing of their presentation is noteworthy because Sam’s Club recently announced one of the most significant developments in it digital history. Sam’s in early January named former Barnes & Noble executive Jamie Iannone to the role of president and CEO of Samsclub.com and also created a new organizational structure. Iannone is based in the San Bruno, CA., headquarters of Walmart’s Global eCommerce business units, and reports to Neil Ashe who serves as president and CEO of that division.

“The integration of the Sam’s Club eCommerce operations with Global eCommerce allows us to build on our collective strengths. This, combined with Jamie’s leadership, gives us a competitive advantage no one else can match,” according to a joint statement made at the time by Ashe and Sam’s Club president and CEO Rosalind Brewer.

The change opens up a wide range of possibilities for Sam’s Club while creating uncertainty among trading partners about future initiatives and new expectations. Overall, the change is expected to result in a higher level of senior management attention as Sam’s Club ecommerce operations become a fully integrated business unit overseen by a C-level executive with solid digital credentials. Quandt and Williamson should be able to put some meat on the bone and help attendees at the Doing Business in Bentonville event understand Sam’s future direction.