No. 20

Senior music buyer, Walmart


With physical music sales continuing to fall, Walmart senior music buyer Tifanie Van Laar-Frever gets high marks as the music industry’s champion at Walmart. “She is an incredible advocate for the music industry within Walmart,” Anderson Merchandisers executive VP/GM Steve McClanahan says. “She is a big supporter of the physical music business for the whole industry. She is an excellent coach to us and the labels in helping suppliers place music in the chain’s stores.” One head of sales at a major label says Van Laar-Frever is “constantly pushing the envelope and working to get the industry and her company to maximize music in her store, and that is no easy task. She is a tireless warrior, working across company lines, departments and brands to get her initiatives through and get music in front of her customers.” That’s no small feat, considering Walmart’s music market share is about 10%—half of what it was a decade ago. But the decline has more to do with the move to digital and the growth of iTunes than it does to decreasing sales at Walmart. While the store remains committed to low prices and high-velocity end-caps, it has recently also begun experimenting with select music placements of superstar artists outside of the music departments, particularly in food aisles, which has the industry excited about future prospects. —Ed Christman