Wal-Mart: US retail giant to close 30 stores in Japan

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The world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart is
closing 30 stores in Japan, the company has
announced.
The US retail chain said it would shut 30
underperforming stores to improve profitability
of its business in the world’s third largest
economy.
The stores operate under the Seiyu brand and
account for 7% of Wal-Mart’s 434 stores in
Japan.
News of the closures came after it cut its full-
year profit forecast in August due to higher
costs and investments.
The retailer also announced plans to re-model
about 50 existing Japanese stores next year and
invest in online shopping.
“The company will focus resources on driving
continued strong performance in locations that
are convenient for customers and allow for an
improved shopping experience,” Wal-Mart said
in a statement.
Wal-Mart entered the Japanese market in 2002
through an investment in the then struggling
Seiyu supermarket chain and ended up taking
full control of the company six years later.
It had been expanding at a fast pace in the last
two years, but Japanese shoppers have been
slow to embrace Wal-Mart’s low-cost model.
The retailer has also struggled to see growth in
its US home market recently, reporting flat
same-store sales in the second quarter –
marking the sixth quarter of declines or no
growth.

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