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Wal-Mart announced on Monday that company veteran C. Douglas McMillon will replace chief executive officer Mike Duke when he retires early next year.


McMillon has a stellar resume that reflects his veteran status at the nation's largest employer: The 47-year-old started his career in the company's merchandising division and went on to lead the company's logistics, distribution, and administration divisions before overseeing Wal-Mart International in 2005 and becoming chief executive of Sam's Club in 2006. He currently heads Wal-Mart's (WMT) operations outside the U.S.

身为美国最大雇主元老级的人物,董明伦有着耀眼的履历:现年47岁的董明伦最初加入公司的促销部门,后来曾分别领导公司的物流、配送和行政部门;2005年,他负责沃尔玛国际部;2006年,他成为山姆会员商店(Sam's Club)首席执行官。他目前主要负责沃尔玛的海外业务。

In a report released this morning, The Buckingham Reseach Group called McMillon a "great choice, " citing his overseas experience and his work to integrate systems across the company's procurement, distribution and merchandising divisions.

白金翰研究集团(The Buckingham Reseach Group)今天上午发布了一份报告,称董明伦是“很好的选择”,同时还提到了他的海外工作经历,以及负责整合公司采购、配送和促销等部门的经验。

But McMillon's impressive tenure at Wal-Mart will by no means make his new job an easy one. Here are some of the challenges he'll face:


1. Wage outrage

1. 工资争议

The most public and populist of all of Wal-Mart's troubles is the contentious relationship it has with its hourly workers. Retail workers' protests of Wal-Mart's low hourly wages started in earnest last October and have continued ever since. There will be no letting up this holiday season; non-union worker group OUR Wal-Mart said 1, 500 protests are planned for Black Friday 2013. The most recent burst of outrage came earlier this month when a Wal-Mart store in Canton, Ohio held a food drive in an employee lounge for the store's own workers. "Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, " said a sign placed above several plastic bins. A company spokesperson said that the food drive was for staffers who had undergone hardships and reflected just how much store employees care about each other. The company has previously characterized worker protests as "publicity stunts" and has stood by its hourly pay.

在沃尔玛的所有麻烦当中,最公开和最具有民粹主义色彩的是公司与其“临时工”之间颇具争议的关系。零售工人抗议沃尔玛时薪过低的活动,从去年10月份开始,一直持续到现在。似乎今年节日季也没有平息的可能;非工会劳工组织“我们的沃尔玛”(OUR Wal-Mart)表示,计划在2013年的黑色星期五进行1,500场抗议活动。员工的怒火最近一次爆发是在本月早些时候。当时,俄亥俄州坎顿市的一家沃尔玛在员工休息室为店铺的员工举办了一次食品捐赠活动。放置在几个塑料盒子上的一条标语中写道:“请捐赠食物,让有需要的同事能够享受感恩节晚餐。”公司发言人表示食品捐赠活动的初衷是帮助面临困境的员工,表现同事彼此之间的关怀。公司之前一直称员工抗议活动是“做秀”,而且始终没有调整员工的时薪。

2. Depressed sales

2. 低迷的销量

Wal-Mart may be able to brush off its reputation woes, but it will not be able to dismiss its weak sales quite as easily. When the company reported its third-quarter earnings earlier this month, comparable sales were down 0.3% as shoppers made fewer trips to the stores. Those figures continued a downward trend seen earlier this year when same-store sales dipped 0.3% in the second quarter and 1.4% in the first. The lackluster performance forced the retailer to forecast disappointing profits for the upcoming holiday shopping season -- it expects flat comparable sales in the U.S. -- which its executives have predicted to be "as competitive" as they've ever seen it. The main contributor to stores' poor performance is reluctance by lower-income shoppers to spend money on discretionary goods because of this year's higher payroll taxes and slow job growth.


3. Making it in the big city

3. 打入大城市

One of the bright spots for Wal-Mart has come from its Neighborhood Markets stores, which are mini, city-based shops outfitted to accommodate express shopping trips and compete with dollar stores. Comparable sales at these smaller stores grew 3.4% in the third quarter of this year. Wal-Mart has 300 small stores now but plans to have 400 by the end of the year, which means that Neighborhood Market openings will outpace new superstores for the first time ever. But determining how to supply the 38, 000 square-foot shops -- which are a third of the size of Wal-Mart's supercenters -- is still in the air, as is the success such stores will have in different metropolitan areas. Organized labor has opposed Wal-Mart's efforts to move into major cities because of the company's history of anti-union tactics. The store recently won the right to open its second and third stores in Chicago after years of lobbying, but politicians and union leaders have long kept the company from entering New York City.

沃尔玛今年的亮点之一是它的社区店(Neighborhood Markets)。这种基于城市的小型店铺可以满足快捷购物需求,能够与一美元商店竞争。今年第三季度,沃尔玛社区店的可比销售额增长了3.4%。目前,沃尔玛更有300家小型商店,并计划在年底达到400家,意味着它社区店的开店速度首次超过了超市。社区店的总面积为38,000平方英尺,仅占沃尔玛超级购物中心的三分之一。目前,小型店铺的商品供应问题仍然悬而未决,同样,小型店铺在不同都市区域能否都能取得成功也是一个未知数。由于沃尔玛一直以来的反工会策略,美国工会反对沃尔玛进入大城市的举动。最近,这家公司经过多年游说,终于获得了在芝加哥开设第二家和第三家店铺的权力,但政客和工会领导人一直在阻止公司进军纽约市。

4. Surviving in the Amazon

4. 在与亚马逊的竞争中生存下来

Wal-Mart has invested heavily in merging its online, offline, and mobile commerce operations, a strategy that encourages customers to use the Wal-Mart app while they're in the store. The effort has resulted in some success. In the third quarter of this year, online sales increased 40%, and the company expects its e-commerce to total $10 billion, 2.1% of its total sales, by the end of the year. That's a huge figure, but it represents just how far Wal-Mart has to go to catch its biggest e-commerce competitor, Amazon (AMZN), which brought in $61 billion in net sales last fiscal year.


5. Growth abroad

5. 海外增长

McMillon's appointment as Wal-mart CEO is an answer to at least one of the company's biggest questions: what role it will have internationally. The company's U.S. market is near saturation, so it makes sense to ramp up overseas operations, but international markets typically offer lower operating margins and returns. Wal-Mart's international sales rose 4.1% to $34.4 billion in the third quarter, but comparable sales fell in key markets like Mexico and Canada. Wal-Mart has long put a big emphasis on its global growth, but its overseas operations are still small compared to its domestic business: The international division represented 29% of the company's 2013 fiscal revenue. But by choosing McMillon, who oversaw Wal-Mart's acquisitions of Massmart in South Africa, Netto in the U.K., and Yihaodian in China, the company has indicated that it will continue to try to tap the international markets as a counter to anemic growth at home.