business

Walmart to sell 85% of Seiyu to KKR, Rakuten

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I hope ASDA chocolate will still be sold.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It was pretty awesome when Walmart bought Seiyu. Heaps of products from Europe, like British ale and Swiss chocolate, could be found on regular supermarket shelves in my neighborhood, rather than at small, high priced specialty shops in city centres.

It's become more pedestrian in the last few years, stocked mainly with bland Japanese industrial lager and Meiji chocolate, so I'm wondering if Seiyu will get its mojo back again.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is part of a strategic pull back by Walmart. Running supermarkets requires a whole lot of local marketing knowledge as nearly all the global players have found out the hardway and in many countries distributors make life hard on them.

KKR is not interested in running this company only in making good profits on the exit sale in 2 to 3 years and most likely they have already a deal on that with Rakuten. Rakuten knows nothing about running a supermarket but as always think they know everything. Walmart walks out now, as they know that with a stark declining population this company must shrink to a size which makes no strategic sense. Rakuten wants the pick up locations, and another loyalty points generator. This will be a loss maker, another one, for them but they hope it helps the groups revenue. KKR will want to sell fast now supers profit from the pandemic situation. After normalisation the Aeon group might have a look at it. In any case in 3 to 5 years only a merger can save them and that will include downscaling it further or even a total absorption of the brand.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What was that about Japan luring foreign businesses?

It's become more pedestrian in the last few years, stocked mainly with bland Japanese industrial lager and Meiji chocolate, so I'm wondering if Seiyu will get its mojo back again.

Reminds me of when Tesco's was in Japan. They'd stock some of their own stuff (not much) at reasonable prices, but as they slowly left Japan, what was left just slowly became a generic Japanese supermarket. I'm really not a fan of the typical supermarkets in Japan - bland, expensive, devoid of choice.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

What was that about Japan luring foreign businesses?

This is one more reason why Abenomics failed, then soon Suganomics will fail as well.

https://www.ft.com/content/ddec7ddf-0fd0-4f03-a692-933e5da3bb61

You think that foreign investors are dumbasses who want sweet Japanese money of Yen? Hysterial, Japan was learning to emulate China and Vietnam at luring and tricking foreign investments. Those Communist countries did a kick-ass job. China, mostly a mirage economy of frauds, still lures record high foreign investments into their country. Vietnam, small but mighty and filled with a Soviet bureaucracy, is now emerging as the biggest winner of Trump-to-Biden presidency as they lure record high foreign investments, which the VCP controls them all.

The problem for Japan is the ever-declining base of consumers and rate of consumption. Japanese people keep saving instead of consuming. That's a huge no-no for any foreign retail giant like Walmart or TESCO. Additionally, you only want the Yens if you are in Japan, while these foreign corporations want to cash out in USD. Too bad that Japan has a strict capital control (weaker than China and Vietnam), insane tax rate, and the Yen keeps losing out to the USD every year.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Expect to be spammed with newsletters and leaflets on the way out the shop just like Rakuten online shop spams you with junk mail if you forget to seek out the hidden “don’t subscribe me to a million newsletters” tick boxes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“The problem for Japan is the ever-declining base of consumers and rate of consumption ... That's a huge no-no for any foreign retail giant like Walmart or TESCO.”

This is completely wrong. Japan supports convenience stores on every corner and multitudes of mini supermarkets - which doesn’t work in western countries. Similarly, western companies thinking they can apply a western model here doesn’t work.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is completely wrong. Japan supports convenience stores on every corner and multitudes of mini supermarkets - which doesn’t work in western countries. Similarly, western companies thinking they can apply a western model here doesn’t work.

That's mostly true, but Costco's model has worked in pretty much its "western" format. Ikea too.

I suspect the Lidl/Aldi model, which is low prices but minimal choice, only one type of cornflakes etc., would also work in Japan. Costco makes its money off the memberships, but is itself a low-choice retailer. The average Walmart or even a big Aeon will carry way more products than the average Costco.

+1 about the Asda Chocolate. Properly chunky and you can get fruit and nut!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is IKEA’s second crack at the Japanese market.

I’ll stop shopping there if they pull out the foreign food and ASDA wine options and snacks!

As usual, international businesses overestimate themselves and Japanese prefer Japanese companies not matter how bland - IKEA, Dairy Queen, Burger King, Wendy’s, the French grocery store chain that crashed and burned and was bought out by AEON....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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