Fast 15: Abby Callahan

by Jeff Della Rosa ( 2,354 views 

Class of 2019 Abby Callahan Inventory Manager Sam's Club

When Fayetteville native Abby Callahan moved to China in the sixth grade, she realized the opportunities the retail sector had to offer.

Her father’s role with Walmart led to the move overseas, and she and her family remained there through her seventh-grade school year. “I knew that if anything, Walmart took you overseas,” Callahan said. “Growing up, what I saw Walmart as was an opportunity to go to all these really cool places with my family.”

She didn’t consider retail as a career initially as she enjoyed being creative and was interested in communications or arts. But in college she decided to pursue business, a subject she was familiar with because of her father. She soon learned that retail has a lot of creative aspects. She spent summers as an intern learning about retail for a company in Shanghai and for Walmart.

Callahan joined Sam’s Club in June 2016 as senior inventory coordinator for health and beauty. She was promoted to merchandise coordinator for optical and hearing in February 2017. She was rehired in June 2017 as product coordinator for over-the-counter products after the previous position was eliminated. She was promoted to inventory manager for over-the-counter products in April 2018.

She manages $200 million in inventory daily, overseeing about 350 items, and ensures the products reach consumers as quickly and as easily as possible. She oversees one employee and works on a team of nine.

“I love what I do because I’m empowered to act like an owner to improve what we do and how we do it,” she said. “As someone who is naturally creative, I’ve found the perfect opportunity to use that skill set to solve real business challenges for one of the largest retailers in the world.”

Callahan learned to speak Mandarin in the sixth grade while attending an international school in Shenzhen. She said she doesn’t speak the language as much as she should, but she takes lessons and often speaks it to her older brother, who’s fluent. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a Chinese minor from the University of Arkansas in 2016.

She’s a volunteer for Junior League of Northwest Arkansas, Walk MS Northwest Arkansas and Upward Soccer. She enjoys yoga, photography, running, hiking and biking.