A Walgreens team member since 2001, Heather Hughes was named divisional vice president, general merchandise manager, Seasonal, General Merchandise, and Photo, in 2017. She is responsible for leading the transformation of the company's seasonal and gifting merchandising efforts with the goal of Walgreens being customers' go-to destination for seasonally relevant celebration needs, including greeting cards, gift cards, decorations, and gifts. The Photo team is tasked with maintaining Walgreens position as retail market share leader in the U.S. by providing customers not only traditional photo services, but also convenient, high-value ways both to capture their memories and to gift through a wide range of creative products, most with same-day pickup.
Before joining Walgreens, Hughes earned her bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Butler University in 1999. She then held several positions in Pharmacy Operations, including pharmacy management in Chicago-area stores, and starting in 2004 held various category management roles in Health and Wellness. In 2010, she was named director and divisional merchandise manager in Health and Wellness, managing the Advanced Care and Wellness businesses; building the Vitamin Angels program, which exceeded the company goal of helping 100 million children around the world with potentially life-saving vitamins; and launching the Balance® Rewards for healthy choices smoking cessation program. In 2015, Hughes was named senior director and divisional merchandise manager in Health and Wellness. In that position, she managed the OTC business and was responsible for launching several Rx-to-OTC switches, including Flonase and Xyzal.
In 2018, Hughes joined with women leaders in the retail and healthcare industries to create an organization they named WE, whose goal is to help advance and shape the next generation of female health and wellness industry leaders.