Japan's Don Quijote Interested In Buying Walmart's Seiyu

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Japan's Don Quijote Interested In Buying Walmart's Seiyu

Japanese discount retailer Don Quijote Holdings Co Ltd said it would be interested in buying Seiyu if Walmart Inc puts the Japanese supermarket chain up for sale, as it looks to expand its presence in the domestic market.

This comes after business daily Nikkei reported last month that the U.S. retail giant would sell its Japanese unit. Walmart has, however, said it has not decided to offload Seiyu and is continuing to develop the business.

Walmart has struggled to replicate the success of its low-price model with Seiyu, which has more than 300 stores, and a sale would mark its latest exit from a low-growth market to shake up its overseas business and invest in places like China and India.

Possible Interest

"If it came up for sale we would be interested and it is attractive," Don Quijote Chief Executive Koji Ohara told a news briefing on Monday.

Last week, Don Quijote reported its 29th straight year of sales and profit growth. The chain is targeting 500 stores in Japan by 2020 from 420 currently but has struggled to find sites in some areas.


"If you don't have real estate you can't do retailing. In addition to its human resources, Seiyu has many locations that you cannot get your hands on," said Ohara.

Walmart could not be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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