Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has been a dominant player in retail for decades, but there may be some chinks in its armor. Over the past five years, growth has underperformed direct rivals Target (NYSE:TGT) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST), while it's been crushed by Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Demographic shifts as well as self-inflicted wounds from too little inventory and uninspiring store design have Wal-Mart following instead of leading in retail, an uncomfortable position for the company. The Fool's Erin Miller recently sat down with analyst Travis Hoium to see what trends investors should be watching. 

Erin Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. Travis Hoium is short shares of Amazon.com. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com and Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Costco Wholesale. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.