Walmart Canada Appoints New CEO - Analyst Blog


Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( WMT ) recently announced the appointment of Dirk Van den Berghe as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of its Walmart Canada division.

Dirk will succeed Shelley Broader, who was recently named the CEO of Walmart's Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa (EMEA) region (see New CEO at Walmart EMEA ). Berghe will join the company on Aug 1 and will report to Broader.

Berghe is currently working with a leading global food retailer Etablissements Delhaize Fr ( DEG ), popularly known as the Delhaize Group. He is currently the CEO of the company's Belgium and Luxembourg operations.

He has an extensive retail experience of 30 years and has worked across Europe, Asia and the United States. In addition, he has taught international business at universities across Europe, Asia and the United States. Berghe also served as the international trade commissioner for the Government of Belgium for more than a decade.

The new CEO of Walmart Canada is expected to strengthen the growing food business in the region. Moreover, he is expected to employ strategies according to the changing demand scenario in order to enhance the performance of the region.

Of late, the company is not performing well both in the U.S. and in the international region owing to a difficult economic environment, declining comp sales, currency headwinds and changing consumer behavior. In the recently reported first quarter fiscal 2015, sales of Walmart international declined 1.4%. The sales decline was higher than a decline of 0.4% in the sequentially preceding quarter due to currency headwinds and sluggish consumer spending environment in both mature and emerging markets. Currency fluctuations impacted international sales by $1.6 billion in the quarter.

The economic strains in the U.S. and abroad are likely to pressurize Walmart's low-income shoppers in fiscal 2015. Walmart anticipates macro-economic headwinds like reductions in government benefits, higher taxes, tighter credit and higher group health care costs to impact fiscal 2015 results.

Walmart carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better ranked retailers include Ingles Markets, Incorporated ( IMKTA ) and The Kroger Co. ( KR ), both holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CEO , WMT , KR , DEG , IMKTA

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