While the time frame remains unclear, Walmart Japan CEO Lionel Desclee called listing a long-term aspiration in the plan. The American big-box retailer also hopes it will be easier for Seiyu to raise funds as a listed company, unlocking more business options for its Japan unit going forward. The business plan also called for the retailer to focus on expanding its online grocery business and improving its fresh and prepared food offerings.
Desclee, who took over as Walmart Japan CEO in March, said he aims to strengthen Seiyu's connection to Japanese consumers as a community-based company.
In September 2016, Walmart made a giant, risky bet.
The country’s most dominant brick-and-mortar retailer agreed to the largest-ever acquisition of an e-commerce company: a $3.3 billion purchase of a fast-growing but money-sucking online shopping site called
Becoming a Walmart vendor or vendor for some other big box retailer certainly isn’t an appropriate goal for every product-based small business – nor is it the only route to retail success.
But if your products and company are a good fit with big box retail, becoming a big box supplier can be extremely rewarding.Remember, in so many product categories there’s so much duplication that there’s absolutely no incentive for a big box buyer to commit to carrying another one.The ideal product is something well differentiated from the other products in its category – that will still fit with the retailer’s current product lines.For another, “Walmart doesn't like to account for more than 30% of a supplier's total business; if it did, and suddenly had to change an order based on shifting trends, it could sink the supplier,” says Gwendolyn Bounds in “The Long Road to Walmart Shelves”).So having other retail accounts increases your chances of getting the big box retail account.The two companies originally struck up a capital and business alliance in 2002.Then Seiyu was delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2008, when Walmart made it a wholly owned subsidiary.Of those, only about 200, or 2%, were ultimately accepted” (Gwendolyn Bounds, “The Long Road to Walmart Shelves”, Step one is making sure that your company is ready to do business.Walmart and other large retailers have supplier standards that must be met.As Seiyu struggled to gain traction among local consumers, speculation emerged that the company intended to sell Seiyu and exit Japan, though the company denied it in a comment last July.While retailers and real estate investment funds expressed interest, eyeing Seiyu's stores in prime locations, Walmart received no offers it considered acceptable for a unit that had been expected to fetch 300 billion yen to 500 billion yen.