Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( WMT ) recently announced the appointment of Shelley Broader as the executive vice-president, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of its Europe, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa (EMEA) region. Broader, currently serving as president and CEO of Walmart Canada, will assume her position immediately and will directly report to David Cheesewright, the president and CEO of Walmart International. Walmart will announce the successor of Broader later.
Broader has been associated with the company since 2010 when she joined as chief merchandising officer of Walmart Canada. She was later promoted to the position president and CEO of Walmart Canada in Sep 2011. Broader also has more than 20 years of experience in the North American retail industry which includes key leadership roles at retailers such as Michael's and Hannaford Bros.
Broader, in her new role, will oversee Walmart's retail operations and business development in EMEA and Canada. With her in-depth knowledge of the retail industry, we believe Broader will be perfect for the position. As the CEO of Walmart EMEA, she 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 in the international region owing to a difficult economic environment, 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 low-income shoppers for the rest of fiscal 2015.
Walmart carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other stocks worth considering in the retail sector include Ingles Markets, Inc. ( IMKTA ), The Kroger Co. ( KR ) and Dillards Inc ( DDS ), all with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).