Is Walmart In Japan

Is Walmart In Japan In 2022? (Yes, But Not What You Think)

Japan is home to the third-richest country in the world. It’s no surprise that American companies would seek out Japan for business opportunities.

That can be difficult, though, especially for Western companies, who may lack insight into the particular culture of Japan and its shoppers.

Perhaps you were curious or have visited the Land of the Rising Sun. While the short answer is yes it isn’t exactly as you may think.

Is Walmart In Japan In 2022? (Yes, But Not What You Think)

Is Walmart In Japan In 2022?

Walmart’s Japanese presence is evident in Japan by its retaining stake in Sieyu supermarket chain and its partnership with Rakuten (the country’s largest eCommerce company). Sieyu was previously a Walmart subsidiary. In November 2020 however, Walmart revealed that 85 percent was being sold.

  • Find out everything you need to know about Walmart Japan and Walmart’s relationship in Japan with Rakuten. You also can learn how Walmart acquired their stake in Seiyu.
  • Japan has How Many Walmarts

    Walmart does not have Japanese stores-branded locations; rather, Walmart owns and operates the Japanese Seiyu grocery shops.

    According to Bridget Goldschmidt of, there are about 300 Seiyu locations all throughout Japan.

    Some of these are located in Tokyo’s vicinity, including a number near Nagano or Kyoto.

    Is Walmart In Japan In 2022? (Yes, But Not What You Think)

    What Is Seiyu?

    Seiyu was the Japanese grocery chain Walmart acquired in full control of in 2008.

    The Japanese chain, which was founded in 1963 had been around for a long time. Walmart purchased 37 percent of the company in 2002.

    Walmart seized the majority stake in three years.

    Walmart, six years following its original investment in Seiyu, became its sole owner.

    Seiyu Supermarkets is more similar to Walmart Neighborhood Markets. Seiyu Supermarkets is closer to Walmart Supercenters.

    Another Seiyu General Merchandise location is located in Tokyo. It doesn’t sell food.

    Christian Monson wrote an article about Japan Shopping and described similarities and distinctions between Seiyu, Walmart, and other retailers.

    Monson is of the opinion that Seiyu Supermarkets have a lot in common with Walmart Neighborhood Markets.

    Seiyu supermarkets can feel almost like Western supermarkets according to Mr.

    Monson says that there are most significant differences between the hypermarkets.

    Seiyu hypermarkets can be found in basements of big buildings, in bustling cities like Tokyo.

    Walmart might have been interested in Seiyu because Supercenters do not offer easy access in larger cities.

  • Walmart gained full access to new millions of shoppers by acquiring Seiyu in just a few cities.
  • Monson mentions also that Seiyu products may be very different and culturally sensitive. Some stores, for instance, sell kimonos in one size fits all.

    Japan: What were the challenges faced by Walmart?

    Is Walmart In Japan In 2022? (Yes, But Not What You Think)

    As some may prefer, they ask: “Why did Walmart fail to succeed in Japan?”

    Walmart had spent years slogging through Japan’s retail market without much success and announced their intention to give up 85 percent.

    Another retailer has been forced to run, tails down: Alliance Boots UK and French Carrefour.

    It is so difficult in Japan to be successful.

  • Unfortunately, Walmart’s business model – steeply discounted goods – ran up against the Japanese distaste for products perceived as “cheap.”
  • While this attitude may be somewhat unbending in some ways, it wasn’t fast enough to impact Seiyu’s underperforming sales.

  • Nikkei also points out Walmart’s failure to consider local business customs as well as dietary preferences and labor relations.
  • A change in the supply chain led to a popular item vanishing from stores; that alone caused customers, comfortable with the previous selection, to avoid Seiyu .

    That same article stated that Walmart executives were less concerned about store employees than they are with management.

    For Japanese consumers who are used to fresh fruits and meats, Walmart’s focus on frozen food (which is very popular in the U.S.A.) was disconcerting.

    Is Walmart In Japan In 2022? (Yes, But Not What You Think)

    Is Rakuten Part Of Walmart?

    Rakuten has been and continues to be a business partner of Walmart.

    Rakuten bought 20 percent of Seiyu’s shares (Walmart will still retain a 15 per cent share). This was after Walmart sold most of its shares.

    Walmart and Rakuten teamed up in 2018 to launch an online shop called the Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Shop.

    It was an eCommerce platform selling American goods. Walmart fulfils orders.

    Additionally, Rakuten and Walmart teamed up to offer online grocery delivery and e-readers/ebooks/audiobooks, a la Amazon.

    So while Rakuten is not part of Walmart, the two companies are closely allied in numerous ways and across multiple investments.

    Walmart information is available in India and New Zealand. You can also find out if Walmart has a presence in India.

  • Conclusion
  • Walmart is a Japanese company that has been present in Japan since 2000. However, it’s obvious that things aren’t always going the way Walmart would like.

    Walmart’s troubles were likely to be caused by deeply embedded Japanese culture, and Japanese norms.

    However, their close ties to Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retailer, should yield interesting and ongoing projects in the future for Walmart.

    .Is Walmart In Japan In 2022? (Yes, But Not What You Think)