WSL Future of Health Event

Influential Women: Vinima Shekhar, Walmart

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Influential WomenBENTONVILLE, Ark. — Vinima Shekhar, vice president of merchandising for wellness at Walmart, is responsible for developing and implementing the retailer’s wellness strategies, with a focus on expanding access to affordable health and wellness products and services.

A major initiative in promoting wellness is Walmart’s annual Wellness Days and the New Year New You campaign, which most recently was held in January across more than 4,600 Walmart stores and pharmacies as well as on walmart.com. In stores, there are a host of wellness services offered, including free health screenings, affordable immunizations, demonstrations and sampling of wellness products such as digestive and nutritional supplements and vitamins. For Shekhar, this event provides a chance for customers to explore the different ways Walmart can help them on their H&W journey in a connected and affordable way. And it’s a great day also to connect with associates and customers in stores, as she makes it a point to be on site.

Shekhar joined Walmart in 2018 as e-commerce merchandising manager and was promoted to director in a year, expanding her scope and team. Her portfolio was extraordinarily broad, encompassing category strategies and analytics, channel management, including Walmart’s third-party marketplace, site merchandising, marketing, supplier negotiations, assortment discipline and digital traffic optimization.

In September 2020, Shekhar was appointed senior merchandising director of directed spend for fintech (financial technology), leading a new and emerging space within Walmart. This position gave her a leadership role on a key enterprise initiative, building new capabilities and a financial platform dedicated to helping businesses and customers use Walmart as their destination for wellness benefits.

Vinima Shekhar

Vinima Shekhar

Shekhar continues to be closely involved in Walmart’s digital evolution, leading the first digital supplier summit earlier this year, and last fall she shared some of the most significant developments and achievements during the Emerson Group Industry Day.

“Our customers don’t think of us as two different brands, in-store versus online,” she said. “They want to engage with our Neighborhood Markets, they want the excitement of the Supercenter, and they want the convenience of the store closest to them, which is the one in their pocket. Our single app experience is continuously improving, and earlier this year we completely revamped our homepage to make exploring our full assortment easier and more inspirational for our customers … what’s really exciting about this is that we’re combining the power of technology with our network of physical stores.”

A vital element in this evolution has been Walmart’s massive supply chain investments. Much of that investment, Shekhar pointed out, has been devoted to people-centric automation and systems powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to create a supply chain that is more connected and has greater capacity and faster, more accurate fulfillment.


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