Wal-Mart Struggles in Japan

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR186
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : -
Organization : -
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : -
Industry : -

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Impact Of The Partnership

Seiyu's performance improved marginally with a reduction in losses from $754 million in 2002 to $67 million in 2003. By the first quarter of 2004, Seiyu announced that it had cut down 3.6% of costs compared with the same period the previous year.

It had laid off 25% of its full time employees though voluntary retirement schemes. The company announced that it expected to make profits of $4.6 million with sales of $10.2 billion for 2004.

The company's share prices on the Tokyo stock exchange also showed an improvement as compared to the year 2003...

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The Future

As of 2005, Seiyu said that it did not hope to make any profits till 2006. The opening of the next Super Center would also be taken up only after 2006. The company had realized that it was not able to cut costs enough to allow it to offer really heavy discounts necessary to make customers shop regularly at its stores.

In Japan, as compared to the US market, Wal-Mart was still to achieve big efficiencies by leveraging Retail Link and increasing its purchasing. As Marra remarked, "In the U.S., Wal-Mart's information technology and huge buying power allows the company to undercut rivals by some 15% across the board...


Exhibit I : A Profile of the Retail Industry in Japan
Exhibit II: The Wal-Mart Cheer
Exhibit III: Sam Walton's Ten Rules for Building A Successful Business
Exhibit IV: Wal-Mart: Financial Summary
Exhibit V: Wal-Mart's Division Wise Operating Results
Exhibit VI: Seiyu's Store Locations as of 2004
Exhibit VII: Financial Summary of Seiyu
Exhibit VIII: Stores Law in Japan: Pre And Post 2000

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