- 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.
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