Wal-Mart watch: Welcome to the jungle, Doug McMillon

|About: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)|By:, SA News Editor

Doug McMillon officially takes over the CEO reins at Wal-Mart (WMT) today with the retailing giant swimming with challenges for the C-suite.

The new farm bill passed by Congress cuts food stamps by a moderate amount after the company had already cited lowered government assistance in the program as a factor in sales running below expectations in Q4.

Despite the Q4 hit, Wal-Mart USA CEO Bill Simon thinks the development could help drive traffic in the future if consumers focus on the company's pricing advantage compared to grocery stores.

On the international front, the growth track in Brazil and China remains choppy. Execs will have to decide if they will trim stores in the regions or double down.

What to watch: McMillon is a proponent of the small-store Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market format in the U.S. The rollout could accelerate in 2014.