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Feeney provides CableRail for veterans’ retreat

BY HBSDealer Staff

Feeney, Inc., the manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum railing systems, provided the Travis Mills Foundation with CableRail products for a waterfront cottage at the foundation’s recently opened 11,000 sq.-ft. retreat center in Maine.

Located on 17 acres on a lake in Hallowell, Maine, the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat offers an all-inclusive, all-paid place of rest and relaxation for U.S. military families, including access to water and land recreational activities along with on-site spa services.

“Our foundation is fortunate to have partnered with Feeney for the waterfront cottage at our national retreat center,” said U.S. Army SSG (Ret.) Travis Mills, president and founder of the Travis Mills Foundation. “America's military families sacrifice so much so that we may all live free, and we're honored that Feeney would work with us provide for our retreat.”

“The best part is that Feeney’s cable railing provides visibility for those veterans who are wheelchair bound to still enjoy scenic views of the lake, while also providing a durable product we'll be able to rely on for years to come,” Mills added.

Mills founded the non-profit organization in 2013 to help combat injured veterans overcome physical obstacles and strengthen their families while also offering much needed rest and relaxation. In 2015, with the aim of providing a place where veterans and their family members could return together to an active lifestyle, the foundation purchased the Maine property. Since opening its doors in June 2017, the retreat center has welcomed more than 54 military families — and plans to host families for at least 40 weeks each year.

Based in Oakland, Calif., Feeney produces residential and commercial construction products for exterior or interior applications include CableRail stainless steel cable assemblies, Quick-Connect auto-locking cable fittings, DesignRail aluminum railing systems with optional LED lighting, Sta-Lok stainless steel rods, and the Trellis Collection of garden trellises.

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Walmart names company vet as international head

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart has tapped a 20-plus years company veteran to head up its second-largest operating segment — a job that many industry experts regard as a stepping stone to the top job at the retail giant.

The company announced it's promoting Judith McKenna to president and CEO of Walmart International, effective Feb. 2.

She will succeed David Cheesewright, who has been in the role since 2014 and recently announced his decision to retire from the full-time position. He will remain with the company full time through March, and then serve the company on a limited basis.

McKenna is currently executive VP and COO for Walmart U.S. She joined the company in 1996 at Asda, where she served as COO and CFO. McKenna also served as executive VP of strategy and international development for Walmart International. She moved to the Walmart U.S. division in April 2014, as the business unit’s chief development officer, where she led the strategy, development and growth of Walmart’s small format business and the partnership with Walmart.com to integrate digital commerce into the physical store presence. Several months later she was promoted to her current role.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon headed up the global division prior to being appointed to the top job at the chain in January 2014. So did his predecessor Mike Duke.

“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Judith for many years and have seen firsthand her ability to lead strategic change, build relationships with our associates and strengthen our business,” McMillon said. “It has been inspiring to see her personal growth and the results she’s driven over the years. Her integrity, high expectations and passion for the business and our associates will ensure our continued success in International."

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Retail sales to grow 3% annually through 2021

BY Marianne Wilson

Retail industry sales are expected to remain on the upswing for the next several years and so are store openings.

A new report by Zebra Technologies, conducted with IHL Group, projects that retail industry sales in North America and EMEA regions (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) will rise 3% annually through 2021, led by a shift to greater e-commerce/omnichannel sales volume. 

The year 2017 saw more retail store openings than closures and store openings are expected to outpace closures through 2021, according to Zebra’s 2017 Retail Transformation Study. IHL research estimates that the enterprise retail market (more than 50 stores) had 4,080 net stores opening through October 2017. In fact, 42% of retailers had a net increase in stores while only 15% had a net decrease.

Additional findings of the study include:

  • IHL projects the North American retail market will grow over the next five years to $5.5 trillion in sales.
  • IHL projects technology spending among retailers to rise approximately 3% over the next three years, as retailers continue to evolve their operations to support unified commerce and provide a modern, engaging customer experience.
  • Mobility is a driver for most surveyed retailers who plan to invest in mobile barcode or thermal printers, barcode scanners and mobile computers within the next three years.
  • Store and fulfillment operations are transforming dramatically to adapt to evolving retail models. Among surveyed North American retailers expecting growth of more than 5%, 60% cited faster sales growth as a key driver for changes in store operations, while 52% cited the shift in sales to online purchases. And 52% identified same-day delivery as a key warehouse operations driver as consumer demand is encouraging retailers to improve the in-store returns process and enhance their fulfillment and delivery strategies.

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