Walmart seeking to expand in Japan

Nov. 13, 2010 at 4:17 PM

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. retail giant Walmart said it is looking for acquisitions in Japan that would help it achieve pricing advantages.

"We are interested in growth (in Japan) and willing to increase market share through mergers and acquisitions," said Scott Price, president and chief executive officer of Walmart Asia, MarketWatch reported Saturday.

"We do need scale (in Japan) and we have been very open about it. We want to take over stores where the current operator is not successful and wants out, or acquisitions that fit our model and are not troubled," he said.

Walmart already owns 414 stores in Japan, thanks to its purchase of retailer Seiyu, which was struggling before Walmart took control of the company.

But analysts have said Walmart needs to grow its presence in Japan, where deflation has caused stores to engage in frequent pricing wars.

"We see scale as being the next level of being able to change the value proposition for Japanese customers," Price said.

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