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华彩娱乐平台黑钱吗: 她让这家公司的国际业务规模超过了乌克兰的GDP

皇冠现金官网比分 www.abetterhamper.com Beth Kowitt 2018年10月10日

在朱迪斯·麦肯纳接管之前,人们总是习惯性地对这家超级零售巨头的国际业务视而不见。随后,公司斥资160亿美元收购了印度的Flipkart。你现在总该认识她了吧?

沃尔玛的一切都庞大的难以想象,包括其国际业务。

就销售额而言,沃尔玛的国际业务超过了摩根大通、波音和谷歌的母公司Alphabet。即便是可口可乐、达美航空和Facebook加起来也难以望其项背。这家零售巨头的海外营收额超过了乌克兰的GDP,以及美、英之间全年的贸易额。

然而可能最令人感到吃惊的一点在于:作为全球最大的业务,拥有1180亿美元营收的沃尔玛国际业务似乎并未得到人们的重视。

在1900名机构投资者客户中,向Bernstein的布兰登·弗雷切深入了解有关沃尔玛美国海外业务的投资者不超过五指之数。沃尔玛的国际业务成为了大数定律的牺牲品,而这是超大型公司独有的问题,就像一条大鱼一样,只是其生活的环境不是小池塘,而是海洋。就沃尔玛国际业务而言,其对比对象便是沃尔玛5000亿美元的销售额。Telsey Advisory Group的乔·费尔德曼说:“投资者只是选择性地忽略了这项业务?!?

直到今年为止。

自4月以来,沃尔玛开展了一系列交易,不仅实现了其国际业务的转型,同时还借此重新定义了公司在零售行业的地位。首先,沃尔玛同意将其英国业务Asda与J Sainsbury合并(沃尔玛将持有合并后公司42%的权益)。然后,也就是出售Asda刚过一个月,公司表示将向私募股权公司出售其巴西业务的大部分权益。上述业务缩减举措所涉及的市场在近20年来一直都是沃尔玛全球版图的一部分。

但与沃尔玛在8月以160亿美元购买印度最大在线零售商Flipkart 77%的股份相比较而言,这一交易也就算不了什么了。在零售营销公司TCC Global的布莱恩·罗伯茨看来,沃尔玛的此次收购可谓是“贵到令人流泪”。它是沃尔玛历史上最大的一笔投资,也是纯电商领域历史上最大的投资。

EVERYTHING AT WALMART IS SUPERSIZED—including its international business.

Walmart International is bigger by sales than JPMorgan Chase, Boeing, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Even Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and Facebook combined can’t touch its scale. The retailer’s dealings abroad generate more revenue than the GDP of Ukraine and surpass the value of all trade conducted between the U.S. and U.K. in a year.

But here, perhaps, is the most surprising stat of the bunch: Walmart’s $118-billion-in-revenue international operation is the biggest business in the world that no one seems to pay very much attention to at all.

Among his 1,900 institutional investor clients, Bernstein’s Brandon Fletcher can count on one hand the number of in-depth conversations he’s had about the company’s footprint outside the U.S. The business is a victim of the law of large numbers, the kind of problem unique to a very big fish that lives not in a small pond but a vast ocean—in this case swimming amid the retailer’s gargantuan half-a-trillion dollars in sales. “Investors just kind of overlooked it,” says Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joe Feldman.

Until this year, that is.

Since April, Walmart has undertaken a flurry of deals that are not only transforming the face of its international business, but are, by extension, also rewriting the company’s place in the retail landscape. First Walmart agreed to merge its U.K. business Asda with J Sainsbury (it will hold 42% of the combined entity). Then, just over a month later, it said it would off-load the majority of its Brazilian operation to a private equity firm. The moves are a retrenchment in markets that were part of Walmart’s global footprint for some two decades.

But those deals look small in comparison to the $16 billion Walmart spent in August for an approximately 77% stake in Flipkart, India’s biggest online retailer. The investment, which Bryan Roberts of retail marketing firm TCC Global calls “eye wateringly expensive,” is the biggest in Walmart’s history and the largest ever in the pure e-commerce sector (just in case there weren’t enough superlatives in the mix already).

朱迪斯·麦肯纳在阿肯色州本顿维尔市沃尔玛总部的会议室。Celeste Sloman for Fortune

沃尔玛一直希望、努力并成功地发展成为了全球最大的零售商,乃至这个时代地球上最大的公司。它通过专注于提升其销售额实现了这一目标。随后,在短短数周的时间内,公司似乎抛弃了创始人山姆·沃尔顿传承下来的销售额至上理念,转而出售了英国相当稳定的盈利业务,并收购了印度一家处于亏损中的企业,而且这家印度公司可能要等到10年之后才会出现创收的迹象。

零售咨询公司McMillanDoolittle的尼尔·斯特恩说:“这是一系列令人大跌眼镜的举措??蠢次侄晔衷敢庾龀稣庖缓蓝?,并对零售业有了新的认识?!?

来自于英国的朱迪斯·麦肯纳自2月开始执掌沃尔玛国际业务,在6月的一次投资者会议上,她以略微倾向于经典的英式低调口吻说:“毫无疑问,过去四个月我们十分繁忙?!钡裣耐硇┦焙蛟诎⒖仙荼径傥奈侄曜懿砍腥希骸拔也⒉灰欢ㄔ蕹梢哉庵址绞嚼纯甲约旱男鹿ぷ??!?

确实,麦肯纳和她的团队担负着巨大的责任,也需要承担巨大的后果。就重整公司全球版图而言,他们实际上正在押注零售业的未来。麦肯纳说:“在一些市场,我们不再建实体店,这没什么可遮掩的?!倍杂谝患以诿拦揽科洳执⑹搅闶劾创词盏钠笠道此?,该声明颇为令人侧目。沃尔玛开始在电商领域布局其资本,这一举措主要源于公司与亚马逊的现有竞争。在美国,沃尔玛以33亿美元收购了在线零售商Jet.com,彰显了其对待这场战争的认真态度。如今,沃尔玛正准备通过收购Flipkart、注资中国京东和达达-京东到家、结盟日本乐天以及收购墨西哥和智利的在线市场Corner-shop,在全球范围内开战。

这一举措与沃尔玛以往的策略相比可谓是迥然不同。过去,沃尔玛通过进驻国家数来衡量自身的成功。前沃尔玛国际首席营销官里克·本德尔解释道,沃尔顿的文化建立在特大购物中心实体店模式之上,但“它并非是构建沃尔玛未来业务的金科玉律?!比缃?,将这家刚好拥有国际业务的美国零售商转型为一家真正的国际化企业的重担,落在了麦肯纳的肩上。

对沃尔玛的国际业务举措的评价有点类似于观看烂番茄网站B级动作片(预算低、拍摄时间短的影片——译者注)的页面:“众说纷纭”,Edward Jones的分析师布莱恩·雅布罗说道。哈佛商学院教授拉吉夫·拉尔将其称为“喜忧参半”,而行业咨询师克莱格·约翰逊给出了“飘忽不定”的评价,Wolfe Research的斯考特·穆锡金则十分直截了当:“这就是个昏招?!?

这一点明显说明沃尔玛的扩张举措受到了诸多的挑战,尽管不怎么受重视,但沃尔玛的国际业务业绩可能是行业中最接近美国成功故事的范例。咨询公司AlixPartners的马特·哈莫里说:“即便是沃尔玛遭遇困难的时候,它仍比当代任何美国零售商都做的更出色?!?

这也就是说,在美国海外进行扩张——一个带有尊严、民族主义和文化冲击这类潜台词的过程——是异常艰难的。咨询公司Brick Meets Click的比尔·毕夏普解释说:“由于这些公司在某一个文化中已经大获成功,因此它们很难相信自己会在另一个文化中遭遇滑铁卢?!币恍└吖芑旧夏岩岳斫庹庋桓鍪率担憾杂谒潜就潦谐≈獾南颜?,他的公司通常仅仅被看作是新成立的、销售别人产品的大卖场。

对于大多数公司来说,业务增长的诱惑是难以抵御的。沃尔玛在20世纪90年代初期便在认真考虑在全球扩张的可能性,当时华尔街开始质疑公司能否保持其两位数的营收增速。管理层制定了一项决策,认为其三分之一的新增长应来自于海外。

沃尔玛在美国之外的第一家店是1991年在墨西哥城开设的山姆店。自此之后墨西哥业务一直稳步发展,成为了公司最成功的国际市场,紧随其后的是加拿大,沃尔玛于1994年收购了加拿大一家步履维艰的连锁店,然后扭亏为盈。

然而,就在公司为了实现其激进的目标而收购更多的公司时,批评声接踵而至。

雅布罗说:“这是为了增长而增长?!倍杂谝恍┤死此?,这些收购更像是赌博,而不是深思熟虑后的决定。前沃尔玛高管本德尔说:“说的夸张点,除了在新市场收购公司之外,沃尔玛基本上没有什么国际策略可言?!?

然后是德国。TCC Global的罗伯茨说:“德国给了沃尔玛非常深刻的教训?!痹?998年进入德国市场之后,沃尔玛坚持向消费者销售带包装的商品,这在德国来说象征着高端购物体验,因此破坏了沃尔玛的价值主张。沃尔玛要求收银员对客户微笑,这在德国社会来说是难以接受的,同时,沃尔玛的名字在德语中的发音十分拗口。沃尔玛与当地工会发生了冲突,而且沃尔玛基本上也不具备足够的吸引力,让购物者放弃他们已经熟悉而且十分喜欢的折扣店。公司在2006年撤出了德国市场。

本德尔说:“我觉得沃尔玛从中吸取了深刻的教训,事后,公司变得异常谨慎,不去做过多的干预?!惫驹谑褂梦侄昝剖币不嵘髦乜悸?,例如,在日本使用Seiyu这一名称,并在智利使用Lider作为旗下的一个品牌??悸堑叫前涂撕?-11便利店在全球普天盖地的同名店面,这一举措并不多见。

然而多年来,这家总部位于本顿维尔的公司并未能完全放开其拳头。麦肯纳说:“我们曾喜欢完全掌控,成为店面的所有者?!比欢孀诺缱由涛癯晌巳虻囊还尚滦肆α?,在这一领域缺乏经验的沃尔玛开始重新思考其策略。巨大的新兴市场有着十足的诱惑力,而且能够为那些经验丰富、能够通过选择正确的合作伙伴进驻这一市场的公司提供丰厚的利润。同时,沃尔玛也意识到,公司不能再采取事必躬亲的做法。如今,借助公司在全球各大企业的投资与股份,沃尔玛在很多地方开始以投资者的身份出现,而不是零售商。国际业务首席财务官理查德·梅菲尔德表示:“我觉得在今后,我们无需再去做日常性的决策?!彼?,合作模式“并非是公司的传统运营模式,但我们正在学习?!?

麦肯纳所处的独特位置,让其对沃尔玛收购交易的利弊了如指掌。她曾是英国百货店Asda的财务主管,沃尔玛于1999年以108亿美元将其收入麾下,是Flipkart之前沃尔玛最大的收购交易。

她在Asda的晋升速度十分快,先是首席财务官,然后首席运营官,这一现象引起了其母公司沃尔玛的注意,但面对那些有关她是否愿意承担更广泛职务的问题时,麦肯纳最初给出了否定答案。

她说:“我真的不想再做其他的工作。我觉得我自己已经有了这个世界上最好的工作,我在得到这份工作之前突破了重重阻碍,而且对这份工作感到很满意,谢谢?!痹谧罱傅接泄刈约涸诠咀懿康闹耙捣⒄故?,她将自己的这一倾向描述为不愿意把头伸出“护墙”外。房间里的听众不知道“护墙”是什么意思,一脸茫然地看着她。她只好解释说:“那是是城堡上的矮墙,如果把头伸到矮墙外,你有可能中弹?!?

当Asda的首席执行官于2010年离开后,英国媒体一直认为麦肯纳是公司可能的接班人,而且英国媒体对此事的报道力度不亚于大多数小报对明星分手新闻的关注。麦肯纳称,她觉得自己缺乏相关的管理经验,因此没有什么胜算。

Walmart has aspired and toiled—and succeeded—in its quest to become not just the biggest retailer in the world but the biggest company on the planet, period, and has done so by obsessing over how to grow its top line. Then, in a span of just a few weeks, it seemed to throw the scripture handed down by founder Sam Walton out the window, by essentially trading a reasonably stable, profitable business in the U.K. for a money-losing venture in India that may take a decade to even begin to show signs of paying off.

“It’s a series of jaw-dropping moves,” says Neil Stern of retail consultancy McMillanDoolittle. “There’s a willingness to make these huge bets and to think about retail differently.”

Judith McKenna, a Brit who has headed up the international business since February, tends to lean a bit more toward classic English understatement: “It’s certainly been a busy four months,” she said at an investor meeting in June—although later this summer at Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., she admits, “I’m not necessarily recommending it as a way to come into a job.”

Indeed, McKenna and her team bear a Walmart-size responsibility with Walmart-size consequences. In reprioritizing the company’s global footprint, they are effectively placing bets on the future of retail. “We’ve made no secret that in certain markets we’ll do no more bricks and mortar,” McKenna says—a striking admission from a company that built its U.S. fortunes on the back of big-box retailing. Instead, Walmart is redeploying its capital in the e-commerce sphere, a move driven in large part by its existential battle with Amazon. In the U.S., Walmart got serious about that fight in 2016 with its $3.3 billion acquisition of online retailer Jet.com. Now it is preparing to duke it out across the globe with its Flipkart deal, investments in JD.com and Dada-JD Daojia in China, alliance with Rakuten in Japan, and acquisition of online marketplace Corner-shop in Mexico and Chile.

The approach looks very different from the Walmart of the past, which was prone to measure success by how many countries it had crossed off its list. The culture of Walton stood for the supercenter store model, explains Rick Bendel, Walmart’s onetime international chief marketing officer, but “that isn’t the credential one needs to build the next phase of Walmart.” Now it’s McKenna’s job to transform the retailer from an American company that happens to have an international business into a truly global enterprise.??

THE REVIEWS of Walmart’s international achievements read a bit like the Rotten Tomatoes page of a B action movie: “Very spotty,” says Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough. Harvard Business School professor Rajiv Lal calls it “a mixed picture,” while industry consultant Craig Johnson weighs in with “checkered.” And bluntly from Wolfe Research’s Scott Mushkin: “It’s just not good.”

It says a lot then about the challenges of expansion that despite the tepid ratings, Walmart’s international performance is probably the closest thing the industry has to an American success story. “Even in the struggles they’ve had, they’re still doing better than any U.S. retailer has done in the modern era,” says Matt Hamory of consulting firm AlixPartners.

Which all goes to say that expanding beyond borders—a process tinged with the subtext of ego, nationalism, and culture clash—is colossally hard. “Because companies have been so successful in one culture,” explains Bill Bishop of consultancy Brick Meets Click, “it’s impossible for them to believe that they’re not going to be successful in another.” Some executives simply cannot process the fact that to consumers beyond their home market, they are often viewed as just another big box selling someone else’s products.

The allure of growth, though, has been too tempting for most companies to ignore. Walmart got serious about the potential for global expansion in the early 1990s when Wall Street started to question whether it could continue its double-digit percentage revenue increases. Management landed on a strategy that dictated that a third of new growth would come from abroad.

Walmart’s first store outside the U.S. was a Sam’s Club that opened in Mexico City in 1991. Mexico would go on to become the company’s most successful international market, followed by Canada, where it bought a struggling chain of stores in 1994 and turned it around.

But as the company pursued more acquisitions to hit its aggressive targets, criticism followed.

“It was growth for growth’s sake,” says Yarbrough. To some, the deals seemed more opportunistic than deliberate. Says former Walmart executive Bendel, “It’s a little bit of an overstatement to say they had an international strategy—other than acquiring businesses in new markets.”

Then came Germany. “They learned a horribly brutal lesson there,” says Roberts of TCC Global. After entering the market in 1998, Walmart insisted on bagging groceries for customers, which in Germany signaled a higher-end shopping experience and eroded Walmart’s value proposition. Clerks were required to smile at customers—not socially acceptable in the country—and Germans even had trouble pronouncing the company’s name. Walmart clashed with local unions and just generally struggled to give shoppers a reason to switch from the discounters they already knew and liked. Walmart pulled out of the country in 2006.

“I think there was a sense of big lessons learned,” says Bendel, “and the consequence was being extremely careful not to interfere too much.” The company has become more thoughtful about when to deploy the Walmart name, operating as Seiyu in Japan, for example, and using Lider as one of its brands in Chile—an unusual move given the number of Starbucks and 7-Elevens blanketing the globe.

Yet for years, Bentonville couldn’t bring itself to truly release its grip. “We liked complete control,” explains McKenna. “We liked ownership.” But as e-commerce—an area in which Walmart lacked expertise—became a growing force globally, the company began to reconsider. Add the lure of massive emerging markets, which promise untold profits to those savvy enough to approach them with the right partners, and the retailer came to the realization that it could no longer do everything itself. Now with its various stakes and holdings around the globe, in a lot of places Walmart is starting to look more like an investor than a retailer. “I think we’ll get to a place where we aren’t making all the day-to-day decisions,” says Richard Mayfield, CFO of the international division. Partnerships, he says, “are not something that’s in our DNA—we’re learning.”

MCKENNA IS IN the unique position of knowing what it’s like to be on both sides of a Walmart acquisition. She was working as the financial controller for British grocer Asda when in 1999 Walmart acquired it for $10.8 billion—the company’s biggest deal ever until Flipkart.

Her rapid progress up Asda’s ranks, to CFO and then COO, drew the attention of the grocer’s parent, but McKenna initially brushed off questions about whether she’d be game for a broader role.

“I didn’t really want to do anything else,” she says. “I thought I had the best job in the universe, and I had broken every ceiling going, and I was quite happy with it, thank you.” During a recent talk about career development at company headquarters, she described the inclination as an unwillingness to put your head above the parapet—that’s the “castle bit on a castle,” she clarified for the blank stares in the room. If you put your head above it, she explained matter-of-factly, you’re likely to get shot.

When Asda’s CEO left in 2010, McKenna kept coming up as a possible successor in the British press, which covered the U.K. grocery sector with the same breathlessness most tabloids reserve for celebrity breakups. McKenna says she didn’t feel like she had the operations experience and took herself out of the running.

顾客在Asda超市自助付款柜台为购买的商品付钱。Simon Dawson — Bloomberg via Getty Images

这件事情发生后,她也在思考可能自已也该向围墙外看看了。2010年,她开始尝试经营一家新成立的小分店,随后,她便收到了沃尔玛总部抛出的橄榄枝——一个负责业务策略与发展的职务,她接受了。

上任数年之后,她发现自己陷入了?;?。沃尔玛美国的同店销售额(一项重要的行业指标)连续5个季度出现下滑。沃尔玛美国业务总裁兼首席执行官克莱格·佛朗任命麦肯纳担任运营负责人,帮助解决这个问题。他觉得她是策略师、运营者和文化代言人的合体,同时还拥有他所谓的“超乎寻常的精力”。

在她的首次市场经理会议中,麦肯纳面对的是“如潮水般”、全盘否定店面各种做法的反馈?!澳翘焱砩衔一氐郊抑蠖晕艺煞蛩担骸艺娌恢来雍稳胧?,而且实际上也不知道是否能够胜任这份工作?!保ㄕ煞蚨运狄绞ぷ约?,并“继续干下去”——这句话后来成为了麦肯纳的口头禅)。麦肯纳开始在全国各地旅行,与店面经理会面,最终跑遍了美国各州。在会议室中,她会坐在前面,专注地倾听这些意见。她说:“人们希望有一个倾诉的对象。你知道吗,他们会告诉你结症在哪,而且他们通常也会告诉你解决之道?!?

这些经理对她说,库存太多,员工没有动力,店面缺乏麦肯纳所谓的TNT(那些值得注意的小物件),例如清扫地面的设备:“我站在讲台上说:‘我宣布,店面将再次启用扫地机?!ㄏ乱黄逗??!彼趴砹硕宰抛暗囊?,并重新组建了沃尔玛无线电广播,店面员工再也不用一遍又一遍地循环播放席琳·迪翁和贾斯丁·比伯的歌曲。

然而,她的一些动议并非是小打小闹。佛朗说:“有着麦肯纳财务背景的人通?;岢⑹运钠桨宋鹊慕饩龇绞?,他们想到的是‘如何裁员’而不是如何提升销售额?!甭罂夏珊头鹄史雌涞蓝兄?,耗费了20亿美元用于增加店面雇员的薪资和培训,并提升他们的技能,这样,他们便可以在店面花更多的时间与顾客相处。

在帮助重振美国业务的过程中,麦肯纳所采用的很多工具都来自于Asda。这家公司曾经是公司的创新热土(如果百货行业存在创新一说的话)。例如“点击提货”(在线下单然后在店拿货的做法)。如今,起源于英国的这一做法已成为沃尔玛美国电商业务的基石。她说:“我深知,作为一家公司,分享最佳实践和人才的能力会带来巨大的收益?!钡锹罂夏芍?,业务的重心正在转移,而且在未来自己会进一步向东扩张。

事实上,她于今年春天乘坐飞机回访了Asda位于利兹的总部,举行了市民大会,因为雇员得知Asda将与另一家公司合并。沃尔玛预计在该交易中不会出现现金损失,而且会在与J Sainsbury合并成立的新公司中持少数股份。尽管麦肯纳对于合并感到十分难过,因为自己所有的零售专长都源于她在Asda的那段时光,但是她说:“这是必须付出的代价?!?

这一决心在5月9日派上了用场,当时,沃尔玛宣布收购印度电商巨头Flipkart 77%的股权。当外界得知沃尔玛为此交易斥资160亿美元时,沃尔玛股价下跌了3%。这一价格已经接近沃尔玛一年的现金流。此举预计将为沃尔玛下一个财年的每股收益带来60美分的负面影响。

在那天打入电话的分析师当中,麦肯纳、首席执行官道格·麦克米伦和首席财务官布雷特·比格斯仅收到了一个讨论会常见的敷衍式“祝贺”,但质疑声却是此起彼伏。

沃尔玛打算如何帮助Flipkart遏制运营亏损?什么时候才能达到收支平衡?为什么不把这笔钱花在美国而是充满不确定因素的印度,尤其是在沃尔玛国际业务可查记录乏善可陈的时候?

But the episode got her thinking that maybe it was time to peek over the parapet after all. In 2010, she put her hand up to run a newlyformed small stores division, and the next time she was approached about a move to Bentonville—and a strategy and development role—she went for it.

A few years in, she found herself in the middle of a crisis. Walmart U.S.’s same-store sales, a critical industry metric, had fallen for five quarters in a row. Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., brought McKenna on as his operations chief to help fix the business. He thought she had the right combination of strategist, operator, and cultural ambassador—as well as what he calls “an amazing engine.”

At her first market manager meeting, McKenna faced a “tidal wave” of feedback about everything that was wrong in the stores. “I went home that night and said to my husband, ‘I absolutely have no idea where to start here, and actually I don’t know if I can do it.’ ” (He told her to get over herself and “get on with it”—a phrase McKenna also employs with regularity.) McKenna started to fly around the country to meet with store managers, eventually visiting every state. She would sit in the front of the room and just hear them out. “People like to be listened to,” she says. “And you know what, they tell you what the problem is—and they usually tell you what the answer is.”

They told her was there was too much inventory. That associates weren’t motivated. That they lacked what McKenna calls TNTs—tiny noticeable things—like equipment to clean the floors: “I stood on a stage and said, ‘I’d like to announce we’re bringing back propane buffers.’ The place went nuts.” She relaxed the dress code and reinstituted Walmart Radio, relieving store employees of a heavy rotation of Celine Dion and Justin Bieber CDs.

Some of her initiatives, however, were not so tiny. Someone with McKenna’s finance background will often try to “save their way out of a problem,” says Foran. “It’s ‘How do I cut?’ as opposed to growing the top line.” Instead, McKenna and Foran spearheaded a more than $2 billion investment in increased wages, training, and technology for store employees so they could spend more time out on the floor with customers.

A good number of the tools McKenna employed to help turn around the U.S. business originated at Asda, which was once a hotbed of innovation for the company—if there is such a thing in the grocery industry. Take click-and-collect, the process of ordering online and picking up at the store. Now the bedrock of Walmart’s U.S. e commerce strategy, it started out in the U.K. “I wouldn’t underestimate the benefit we’ve had as a company from the ability to share best practices and talents,” she says. But McKenna knows that the center of gravity is shifting, and going forward she’ll be looking further east instead.

In fact, this spring she got on a plane and returned to Asda’s headquarters in Leeds to hold a town hall after employees learned that the company was being merged. Walmart, which expects a non-cash loss on the deal, would take a minority stake in the newly combined entity with J Sainsbury. It was hard emotionally for McKenna, who had learned everything she knows about retail from her time at Asda. But, she says, “that’s what it’s going to take.”

THAT KIND OF resolve came in handy on May 9, when Walmart announced its 77% stake in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart. The stock tumbled 3% on the news that the company had sunk $16 billion into the deal—not that far off from a year’s worth of free cash flow. The move is expected to drag down earnings per share by 60¢ in its next fiscal year.

Dialing in for an analyst call that day, McKenna, CEO Doug McMillon, and CFO Brett Biggs received only one of the perfunctory “congrats” typical of the forum and instead faced a wave of skepticism.

How did Walmart plan to stem Flipkart’s operating losses? When would it break even? Why not deploy that capital in the U.S. rather than in India, a wild-card market—especially when Walmart’s international track record was not so hot?

沃尔玛首席执行官道格·麦克米伦(右)2018年5月9日在班加罗尔举行的一场活动中演讲,旁边是Flipkart联合创始人兼首席执行官宾尼·班萨尔。AFP/Getty Images

印度的零售市场正在向万亿美元大关迈进,但电商份额仅占2%。纽约大学斯腾商学院的营销学教授斯科特·嘉乐威表示:“价格太高了,他们当时收购Jet也是如此。但如果他们可以借此将公司发展成为全球增速最快市场的领军电商企业,这个价格可能还是值得的?!毖锹硌吩谖侄甑难燮さ紫路⒄棺炒?,阿里巴巴在中国亦是如此,而沃尔玛如今正在迎头赶上。160亿美元可能仅仅只是进驻全球人口第二大国的门槛费。

这可能也是无法找到完美解决之道的代价。随着数字与实体世界的交汇,沃尔玛也逐渐愿意承认自己无法找到完美的解决之道。麦肯纳常说的一个职业建议是:让你胜任当前工作的技能并不一定就能让你在未来的工作中获得成功。她似乎意识到这一点同样适用于沃尔玛。公司在仓储式零售方面所积累的专长可能并不能用于在全渠道的未来与亚马逊和阿里巴巴进行竞争。麦肯纳说:“沃尔玛在本质上并非是一家科技公司。其他公司在这一方面比我们要强很多?!盕lipkart是其中之一,而且作为一个愿意问问题而不是下命令的高管,麦肯纳打算将其在印度学到的东西带到其他市场——就像她把英国的最佳实践带到美国那样。

在麦肯纳担任Asda首席财务官时,同事们都会因为她规避风险的爱好而跟她开玩笑。她笑着说:“我以前会在工作介绍中提到这一点?!彼坏貌谎ё湃ヂ视θッ胺缦??!拔胰衔舛晕侄昀此凳且桓鲋匾淖?,对于我这样的个人也是如此?!倍杂诼罂夏珊臀侄?,最大的风险可能在于永远追求四平八稳。(财富中文网)

本文的另一个版本作为《最具影响力的商界女性》的组文,刊登于2018年10月1日刊的《财富》杂志,标题为《沃尔玛眼中的世界》

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

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India’s retail market is on its way to $1 trillion, but e-commerce represents only 2% of the overall pie. “They overpaid, just as they overpaid for Jet,” says Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business. “But if they can establish themselves as a leader in e-commerce in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, it may be worth it.” Amazon had developed right under Walmart’s nose in the U.S., just as Alibaba did in China, where Walmart is now trying to play catch-up. The $16 billion may simply have been the price of admission to play in the globe’s second-most-populated country.

It’s also the cost of not having all the answers—something that Walmart has been increasingly willing to admit to as the digital and physical worlds collide. McKenna likes to give the career advice that the skills that got you to your current job are not necessarily the ones that will make you successful in your next role. She seems to realize the same is true of Walmart. The expertise the company built in big-box retailing may not be what it needs to battle Amazon and Alibaba in an omnichannel future. “We’re not at heart a tech company,” McKenna says. “There are other people who can be better at that than us.” Flipkart is one of them, and McKenna, who’s proved she’s willing to ask questions rather than dole out directives, plans to bring lessons learned from India to other markets—just as she brought best practices from the U.K. to the U.S.

As CFO of Asda, colleagues would rib McKenna for being risk averse. “I used to say it was in my job description,” she jokes. She’s had to learn to get more comfortable with it. “I think that’s an important shift in us as a business—and for individuals like me.” For McKenna and Walmart, the biggest risk may be not taking one at all.

A version of this article appears in the Oct. 1, 2018 issue of Fortune as part of the Most Powerful Women package with the headline “The World According To Walmart.”

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