Karlsruhe, Germany, -- Ron Tiarks has been named president of Wal-Mart Germany, effective today. He will be responsible for all aspects of the company, including sales, merchandising, operations and expansion of the 21 Wertkauf hypermarkets acquired last month by Wal-Mart International.
Mr. Tiarks, 38, most recently served as a senior vice president with responsibility for more than 200 Wal-Mart Supercenters which, like the Wertkauf units, offer a broad assortment of general merchandise and foods. He has about 20 years of retailing experience. He began his Wal-Mart career as a stockman and eventually was assigned to all areas of store management. He will be moving from Wal-Mart's home office in Bentonville, Arkansas, to Karlsruhe.
"Wertkauf associates have built an outstanding organization, and Mr. Tiarks will provide excellent leadership to that team. He provides the experience, energy and a deep commitment to customer service to help make Wal-Mart's first stores in Germany a success," said Bob L. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart International.
Mr. Tiarks said his first priority will be to visit with Wertkauf associates and their stores to gain a better understanding of the market. "Our ultimate goal is customer satisfaction," Mr. Tiarks said. "The customers will be our guides as we build on Wertkauf's many strengths and begin introducing Wal-Mart's culture, traditions and support."
The Wertkauf acquisition, which was completed December 30, followed a record year-to-date performance for the Wal-Mart International Division. In the third-quarter earnings report, the division reported year-to-date profit of $85 million, compared to a loss of $41 million during the same period last year.
As of December 31, 1997, Wal-Mart International had 602 units in eight countries: Argentina (9), Brazil (8), Canada (144), Germany (21), Mexico (402), and Puerto Rico (13) and under joint ventures in China (3) and under a franchise agreement in Indonesia (2). Wal-Mart employs more than 700,000 associates in the U.S. and 105,000 internationally. It securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges. http://www.walmartfacts.com/articles/3503.aspx
In Western countries, contemporary herbal medicine is based on European phytomedicine. Derived from plants or plant parts, phytomedicines are not isolated chemicals but preparations from an entire plant or from its root, leaf, flower, or fruit. Thus, such well known compounds as menthol (from peppermint), or digitoxin (from foxglove) are not considered phytomedicines. The European phytomedicine market is estimated at over $8 billion in annual sales, 70 percent of which are made in Germany, a country with a rich tradition of herbal medicine. One survey revealed that 76 percent of German women drink herbal teas for health benefits, and more than 50 percent take herbal remedies in the early stages of illness. Germany also has a favorable regulatory system that permits well-researched, well-documented herbs to be sold as drugs. Herbs widely used in Europe for many years are now becoming popular in the United States as dietary supplements.
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