Another area Sozzi said the retailer needs to improve on is its inventory levels, which are more in line with what he'd expect prior to the recession. He said the company is investing billions of dollars to offer low prices on items that remain on shelves for weeks at a time, causing further markdowns.
Along the lines of pricing, Perkins said Wal-Mart has made strides to bring consumers the lowest prices, but it may not have gotten there fast enough. For example, a recent study by retail price intelligence company 360pi found that Amazon and Sears edged out Wal-Mart on electronics pricing during June.
If Wal-Mart doesn't offer its target customer base the lowest prices, it will lose that sale, Perkins said.
"If they can get it elsewhere [for cheaper] then obviously they do that," he said.
Read MoreWal-Mart's biggest problem: Its customers
Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein said in a recent note that the retailer also has more opportunity on the general merchandise side of the business. One example is the recent revamping of its consumer electronics section, which was completed in June. Trussell also pointed to the company's acknowledgement that it needs to offer low-price private-label goods, as well as branded items.
On the plus side, Sozzi commended the retailer for taking strides in its digital offerings. He said it's been doing a good job leveraging social media and integrating its online offerings with the in-store experience.
The retailer's @WalmartLabs division is also looking to beef up this integration, and has made about a dozen acquisitions over the past three years. For the critical back-to-school selling season, Walmart.com will offer more than 75,000 items around the event—an increase of about 30 percent from the prior year.
Despite all of these initiatives, certain things remain out of management's control. Although the economy has added jobs, many lower-income consumers have struggled to find full-time work, Trussell said. On top of that, many were stuck with higher utility bills and are paying more for health care, which is taking more money out of their wallets. This bifurcated recovery led to Simon and Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine, earlier this month, making comments about the struggles their consumer bases face.
The National Retail Federation also mentioned the struggles of low-income consumers when it slashed its retail sales forecast for 2014 on Wednesday.
"Their ability to drive sales and earnings in-line relies on a household [with an income around] $25,000," Sozzi said. "That's a big burden to place on your investor base."
Foran will take over the reins of Wal-Mart U.S. on Aug. 9, a crucial time for the retailer's back-to-school push and not too far ahead the winter holidays.
Wal-Mart will announce its second-quarter earnings results on Aug. 14. The company expects diluted earnings per share between $1.15 to $1.25, compared with $1.24 last year. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are calling for earnings per share of $1.21 with domestic same-store sales coming in 0.03 percent higher.
—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson