Don Quijote eyes Seiyu – if it is for sale

Japanese discount retailer Don Quijote says it wants to buy Walmart’s Seiyu department store business in Japan.

But Walmart still claims it is not for sale.

Despite widely published reports, originating from the Nikkei newspaper, that Walmart was approaching potential buyers for the unit, the US company denies it is selling up and moving out of Japan.

A Walmart spokesperson told Euronews the company is not in talks with prospective buyers and is continuing to develop the business – the same line with which it responded to the Nikkei report.

Don Quijote CEO Koji Ohara told a press conference this week that if Seiyu came up for sale “we would be interested and it is attractive”.

“If you don’t have real estate you can’t do retailing. In addition to its human resources, Seiyu has many locations that you cannot get your hands on,” he said.

The original Nikkei report said Walmart could fetch 300 – 500 billion yen (US$2.7 – $4.5 billion) for the business if it sold. The move was perceived as a potential outright withdrawal from Japan and a chance for the firm to refocus on higher potential markets in China and India.

Don Quijote, which has recently expanded into Singapore, last week reported its 29th consecutive year of sales and profit growth. The chain aims to have 500 stores in Japan by 2020, 80 more than it has now. But it is struggling to find locations.


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