H: Nissen explains how his job responsibilities ended up being very different from what he was originally told he would do. Salmans asks why retail sales are suffering amid a number of positive economic indicators, such as low unemployment. And Grace says higher wages can be a burden on retailers, which have low profit margins.

be excited by the challenge
H: Exhilarated at the idea of doing something difficult or challenging. Excited by how it will stretch our abilities. “He was excited by the challenge of opening up a new market.” Or “I was excited by the challenge of working in a new industry.”

thanks to
H: Someone or something is responsible for this. And we use this in good and bad situations. “She’s very well-off, thanks to her wise investments.” Or “I got there late, thanks to a traffic jam.”
S: 日本語でもそうですが、何々のおかげで、というのは良い場合、悪い場合、両方使いますね。

H: This can mean physical health, though Nissen is talking about conditions and behaviors that make it difficult for a person or a thing to function well. “The atmosphere at the Company X is very unhealthy. It’s extremely competitive and stressful.” And when a company is struggling, we also say it’s ailing. “The ailing retailer closed three stores last year.”
S: 同じような意味でailingも使うとヘザーさんが言っていましたね。健全でない、病んでいるという意味ですね。

at a record pace
H: Nissen says American retail chains are closing stores at a record pace. At the fastest rate in history. If we use record alone this way as an adjective, it means the highest, the most etc. Things like  “We’ve seen record sales this quarter” okay record high sales but if I say “a record drop in sales” then that’s the biggest drop in history.
S: record breakingとも言いますが、ただ単にrecordだけでも記録的なという意味になりますね。

due to
H: In this case due to means caused by, because. “He’s off today due to a cold.” Or “The flight was canceled due to poor weather.” It can also mean scheduled to. “Company X is due to release its new model next month.” Or “The plane is due to arrive at 4:30 pm.”

gas prices
S: gasというのはgasolineの略ですね。

low margin
H: Down towards the bottom, Grace says rising wages can be difficult for low-margin companies like retail stores. When a company’s revenue is not much more than its expenditures. A low-margin car, for example, sells for not much more than it cost to make it.
S: 例えばOurs is a low-margin business. We have to watch every penny.なんて言いますね。「我々のビジネスはもうけの薄い商売である。だから1セントでも無駄にしてはいけない」というような言い方ですね。

buying habits
H: Our regular practices regarding buying, what we regularly do when buying. We use habits with a lot of words. Eating habits. “She picked up bad eating habits in college.” Or spending habits. “He has very good spending habits. He doesn’t make impulse purchases.” 
S: impulse purchaseというのは衝動買いのことですね。



The reality is
H: Nissen says the reality was sadly different in his previous job from what he had been led to expect. We use this to mean this is the actual situation. This is what happens in reality. “People think Joan is unfriendly but the reality is she’s very shy.” We also say in reality. “She seems unfriendly but in reality she’s shy.”
S: The reality is. 現実は、現実は違っているという意味ですね。

H: In the middle Salmans says a deep recession might explain this kind of trouble for large retailers. In this case explain means provide the reason for, provide the justification. Imagine I say “Charles is so busy lately.” You respond “Oh, that explains why he looks so tired.” Or “The cold weather explains the drop in our sales of summer clothing.”
S: explain、説明となる、という意味ですね。