Is Walmart In The Uk Or London? (Yes, But Not What You Think)
Walmart is a giant retailer that operates more than 11,000 outlets around the globe. They employ millions and serve hundreds of thousands of customers every day.
Walmart to Open in London or the UK In 2022
Walmart is in the UK as an equity investment holder in the grocery chain Asda. Asda was acquired by Walmart first in 1999. This retained the company name and made Walmart’s entry into UK Market. In 2021, the Issa brothers completed a majority-stake acquisition of Asda, with Walmart retaining an equity investment and seat on the board.
How did Walmart enter the United Kingdom
Asda has been a popular supermarket chain in Britain since 1920, when its first store opened in West Yorkshire.
In its infancy, it was a butcher business. However, as the offering expanded, the business became an assortment of discount-price supermarkets.
In the 60s and the 70s, the chain expanded to the south. It eventually reached London in 1982.
Asda went bankrupt in the early 90s. There were even rumors of a merger.
In June 1999 it was announced that Walmart had placed a $10.8 billion bid to acquire Asda , a move which immediately struck fear into the hearts of UK retailers.
Asda had just dissolved talks with Kingfisher plc, and both Asda and Walmart had vehemently denied their intention to team up in the months prior.
Yet, it seems that the merger was not a shock.
Asda started opening more stores. These were called Supercentres after Walmart’s model. They also maintained a high emphasis on discounts.
Walmart is not surprising to have been impressed by the Asda brand.
It seemed at that time like Walmart was beginning its European dominance.
Walmart seems to be looking for other ways to grow in Europe after not being able to launch in Germany, where it is under the Walmart Store brand.
That context explains why they bought out the Issa/EG Group after exiting the UK.
Why is ASDA not called Walmart
Quora’s one commenter offers a reasonable explanation as to why Asda shops didn’t become Walmart in 1999.
According to him, it was a smart move from Walmart to keep UK shoppers happy with their American retail philosophy (which Walmart is).
Walmart might instead quietly make a profit of the Asda brand trust and loyalty UK shoppers have shown since the beginning of the 20th Century.
My grocery store’s layout is something that makes me upset, I don’t know about others.
Asda shoppers were used to the disruptions of complete rebrandings and total destruction of store layouts, it would have been extremely disruptive.
It’s only the beginning of the emotional pain.
Practically speaking, you can imagine the cost to Walmart. Asda is a retailer with hundreds of shops across the UK.
Is Asda and Walmart Similar?
As I said, Walmart acquired Asda because there are enough similarities between them.
Some enterprising writers at Business Insider visited both an Asda and a Walmart to report on what’s alike and what’s different.
Both a Walmart and Asda have good produce departments near the front.
Shops selling meat/butchers, seafood or bakeries can be divided up and placed either near the front, at the sides or alongside the aisles.
Asda also stocks a large selection of readymade meals.
Walmart appeals to American shoppers who value convenience. There is usually an island cooler nearby the deli where you can heat and eat food in plastic containers.
Their final takeaway was that while the layouts and varieties of foods were much alike, Asda is more of a grocery store, and Walmart is more of an “everything” store.
Walmart Acquired ASDA from Whom?
Walmart UK is technically still present with their Asda minority stake, but they are being bought out by the billionaires Issa and EG Group owners, Issa.
You can read our posts related to Walmart’s expansion in other countries. These include: if Walmart stores are in Japan; if Walmart exists in India and if Walmart will be coming to New Zealand.
Walmart’s UK presence and London market share has decreased since Asda boughtout by Issa brothers.
Walmart had the Asda grocery chain in London and UK for nearly 20 years, as part its network of international holdings.
Walmart now appears to be focusing on Asian markets, despite the Asda acquisition.
.Is Walmart In The Uk Or London? (Yes, But Not What You Think)