Japan's Pain Is Wal-Mart's Gain

Falling incomes have Japanese consumers looking for bargains
Wal-Mart is opening more Seiyu stores as Japanese shoppers start looking for bargains Photograph by Andy Rain/Bloomberg

Keikichi Miyakawa says he earned about $50,000 a month selling pricey golf club memberships during Japan’s bubble economy in the 1980s. Now on a pension, the 65-year-old Tokyo resident shops at Seiyu, the discount chain owned by Wal-Mart Stores. He recently bought packs of bean sprouts for 29 yen (36¢), and croquettes for 49 yen (60¢) as part of the store’s Mainichi Kakaku Yasuku promotion. That’s the Japanese translation of Wal-Mart’s “every day low prices” slogan.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.