Japan: Wal-Mart's Looking for a PartnerAgain

Slow sales indicate the retailer's style isn't catching on with local consumers. A stake in the Daiei chain might change its fortunes

Having already sold off loss-making operations in South Korea and Germany this year, it's only natural that Wal-Mart's (WMT) ambitions in Japan are under scrutiny. Since taking a stake in Seiyu in 2002, the chain's struggling Japanese operations have lost well over $1 billion. Just as worrying, sluggish sales suggest that Japanese shoppers, like their Korean and German counterparts, haven't warmed up to the Wal-Mart way (see BusinessWeek.com, 2/28/05, "Japan Isn't Buying The Wal-Mart Idea").

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