Tough economic times haven't stopped Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) from shuffling a few of its top executives.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, a high-profile executive voice at the discount giant, will now head up international e-commerce and sourcing. His role as head of U.S. operations will now be filled by Wal-Mart U.S.'s Chief Operating Officer Bill Simon.

Castro-Wright seemed like a logical successor to current CEO Mike Duke, but this new move suggests that Simon's also in the running now. Back in November 2008, Duke was pulled from his job as head of Wal-Mart's international operations to take the reins of the entire company from H. Lee Scott.

Wal-Mart's making this changeover while it grapples with an ongoing slump among U.S. consumers. Still, with spending down in the dumps, Wal-Mart might be well-positioned to grab customers from discount rivals like Target (NYSE: TGT) and Costco (Nasdaq: COST), not to mention middle-of-the-road retailers such as Macy's (NYSE: M) and Dillard's (NYSE: DDS). Consumers' spring spending spree now seems short-lived, after consumer confidence took a massive dive in June.

Last quarter, Wal-Mart's results didn't exactly impress. Its same-store sales dipped by 1.1% here in the U.S., and the company dismally noted that its traditional customers are living paycheck-to-paycheck more than ever.

Wal-Mart's executive shuffling is newsworthy, if not exactly exciting, but at least it doesn't seem like much reason for shareholder alarm. The more interesting angle for investors these days is whether continued signs of economic difficulties in the U.S. and worldwide will prove a boon for Wal-Mart and its discount rivals, as consumers flee pricier retail options.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.