Walgreen Co. has tapped Linda Filler as president of retail products and chief merchandising officer. She was previously president of Claire’s Stores Inc.

This story first appeared in the December 5, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Filler, who will join Walgreens on Jan. 1, will oversee all the chain’s merchandising activities.

“With her deep experience across a broad range of product lines and strong supplier relationships, Linda has the expertise to understand what our customers want and innovate quickly to create an experience that drives loyalty and results,” said Alex Gourlay, president of customer experience and daily living at Walgreens and president-elect of Walgreen Co.

It is a newly created role, although Gourlay has been handling some of the responsibilities. Gourlay will assume the title of president of the Walgreens division, following the merger with Alliance Boots by the end of calendar 2015’s first quarter.

Those familiar with Filler said her experience at the specialty retailer Claire’s will dovetail nicely as Walgreens looks to enhance its front-end offering. “She brings considerable global experience as we anticipate closing step two of our strategic partnership with Alliance Boots,” stated Gourlay.

Claire’s operates more than 3,000 stores in 17 countries in North America and Europe, as well as nearly 450 franchised stores in 30 countries, mainly in the Middle East, central and southeast Asia, and Central and South America. Before joining Claire’s in March 2013, Filler was executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club, the warehouse club division of Wal-Mart.

She also held executive vice president positions at Wal-Mart and Kraft Foods Group Inc. and leadership posts at Hanes Brands in the Sara Lee Corp.

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