Roughly seven years ago, a delegation of Japanese businessmen came to my hometown of Greenfield, MA to learn how we had stopped Wal-Mart. They were afraid of the impacts Wal-Mart would have on small businesses in Japan, and the small town way of life. On March 14th, Wal-Mart announced that it has spent $46 million to buy a 6.1% share of the Japanese supermarket/discount store chain Seiyu, which has 400 stores in Japan. More importantly, the deal allows Wal-Mart to raise its share of the company over time to 66.7%. The purchase into Seiyu was described as a “strong platform” from which Wal-Mart could build its empire in Japan. The Japanese company described Wal-Mart as “the world’s most successful retailer.” Over time, many communities in Japan may remember March 14th. as they day Japan lost its retail war with America.
Wal-Mart operates stores in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, South Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Britain. They used to operate stores in Indonesia, but they don’t talk about that fiasco anymore. Wal-Mart: One world. One store. For all.