Is Walmart In Japan

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

Japan has the third-richest economy in the world, so it’s fitting that American businesses would want to establish a foothold in that country.

However, this can be difficult especially for Western companies that may lack knowledge of the specific culture in Japan or their shoppers.

Perhaps you were curious or have visited the Land of the Rising Sun. You might be surprised to learn that the truth is no, it just so happens that Japan has Walmart.

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 used to be a Walmart subsidiary. However, the American retailer giant recently announced that it would sell 85 percent of its shares.

  • You can find out more about Walmart Japan’s stores and their relationship with Rakuten. Also, learn why Walmart decided to sell its shares in Seiyu.
  • What is the number of Walmarts in Japan?

    Walmart Japan does not actually have Japanese store locations. Instead, Walmart Japan owned and operated Japanese Seiyu grocery outlets.

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

    There are a few scattered around Tokyo and Osaka.

    Was Walmart in Japan faced with these challenges?

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

    Some people may ask blunter questions: What caused Walmart to fail in Japan?

    Walmart’s announcement that it would give up 85 percent of its shares came after many years spent in Japan, with very little.

    This market also has other sellers running, tails tucked; the French Carrefour from France and Alliance Boots in the UK.

    So, why is it so hard to do it in Japan

  • The Japanese distaste of products that appear “cheap,” unfortunately, led to Walmart’s business model which offered steeply discounted items.
  • While that attitude might be unbending somewhat, it didn’t occur quickly enough to make much of an impact on Seiyu’s already underperforming sales.

  • Nikkei Asian also generally cites Walmart’s failure “to take into account local business customs, dietary habits and labor relations.”
  • Customers were able to leave Seiyu because they felt comfortable shopping with their previous choices.

    This article states that Walmart managers tended to be more concerned with managerial staff than the store workers.

    And Walmart’s emphasis on frozen foods (very popular in the U.S.) was confusing and distasteful to Japanese shoppers used to fresh produce and meats.

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

    Is Rakuten Part Of Walmart?

    Rakuten, a former joint stakeholder of Walmart and its business partner, is still a part of the company.

    Rakuten acquired a 20 per cent stake in Seiyu. Walmart lost most of its shares.

    Walmart was also joined by Rakuten for the launch of an online store, called Walmart Rakuten Ichiba.

    This was an eCommerce platform that sold American products and Walmart fulfilled the orders.

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

    Rakuten doesn’t belong to Walmart. But the two companies share many commonalities and make multiple investments.

    If you are looking to learn more about Walmart, you might also be interested in reading up on if Walmart is in India or Delhi, if Walmart is in New Zealand, and if Walmart is in the UK or London.

  • Conclusion
  • Walmart’s presence in Japan dates back to the 2000s. It is however evident that not everything has gone according to plan.

    Deeply embedded Japanese culture and norms, very different from what Walmart is used to in the States, seemed to contribute to the retail giant’s floundering.

    Walmart will be able to benefit from their close connections with Rakuten Japan Online, which is Japan’s largest retailer online, in future projects.

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

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