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Maps out, P'tex realigns sales force

Barely a week after Scott Shimizu announced his departure, Pillowtex Corp. has realigned its sales team by customer group rather than by geographic region.

Greg Williams, Dave Lueder and Margie Donovan have all been appointed group vice presidents, each responsible for specific retail customers.

Prior to their promotions, each held the title of vp and regional sales manager.

"Realigning our sales team by customer segment allows us to work more closely with each retailer as an individual partner," said Mike Gannaway, Pillowtex president, to whom the three are reporting. "We will be better positioned to understand our customer's business interests and to respond to their needs and the demands of their consumers."

Williams, an employee of the major mill since 1987, is managing a team focusing on the Wal-Mart and Sam's Club accounts. Williams' main concentrations, Pillowtex also said, was strengthening the company's relationship with its largest customer.

According to Pillowtex, the moves were worked on and planned by Shimizu and Gannaway prior to Shimizu's resignation.

Lueder is leading the team concentrating on national account customers, including Kohl's, Mervyn's, JCPenney and Sears. He joined the company in 1999.

Donovan is managing the team focused on department and specialty store customers, included among those are May Co., Federated Department Stores, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Linens 'n Things. She joined Pillowtex in 1983.

Said Gannaway, "Supplying retail customers is no longer solely selling product. Our retail customers are looking to suppliers for input on strategies, business planning, inventory management, supply chain management and logistics. Organizing our sales structure by similar accounts allows us to become intimate with our retail customers. We can build value in our relationship with them, which is essential in today's retail environment."

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