Walmart's CEO keeps this magazine article from 1996 in his office

Doug mcmillon walmartWalmartDoug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart International, speaks to Shareholders at the 2011 Walmart Shareholders Meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon obsesses about the company’s future, understandably.

The company reported second-quarter earnings results on Tuesday morning. IT missed on earnings, and cut its outlook for the year.

And in prepared comments for the earnings call, McMillon dropped this nugget:

“I talked with our managers about how our company has always changed to serve customers, and we’re in another period of change right now. I shared an article from Fortune magazine that I keep in my office titled ‘Can Walmart Get Back the Magic?’ It’s a pretty strong indictment of our future, and the fun fact is that it was written in 1996. Just as it was in 1996, we will win the future of retail if we make the right choices as a business.”

According to this Fortune story written back in 2000, the 1996 article questioned whether the retail giant could continue the solid performance it had under founder Sam Walton. Walton died in 1992.

And with today’s mixed results, it seems the question about Walmart’s “magic” is one McMillon is still asking.

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