Seiyu GK (合同会社西友 Gōdō Gaisha Seiyū?) or Seiyu Group (西友グループ Seiyū Gurūpu?) is a Japanese group of supermarkets, shopping centers, and department stores owned by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Its head office is in Akabane, Kita, Tokyo.
It was established in December 1946, and it was formed in 1956 by Seibu Department Stores, a group company of Seibu Railway. In 1980, Seiyu launched its private brand Mujirushi-Ryōhin (commonly known as MUJI outside Japan). MUJI was transferred to Ryohin-Keikaku in 1990, and is not part of Seiyu.
On December 31, 2003, Seiyu and Walmart signed a partnership agreement in which Walmart would teach global supply chain practices. Numazu, Japan was the site of the first Seiyu store using Walmart methods.
According to BusinessWeek Online, Walmart, the giant American retailer, bought a 37 percent stake in Seiyu in 2002, and according to a company press release, in late 2005 Walmart acquired a majority stake in the company which it has since increased to 95% ownership, and 100% ownership in 2008.
Selling of Seiyu Stores in Singapore and Hong Kong
In addition to its Japanese operations, Seiyu also has department stores operating under its name in Singapore and Hong Kong. The group used to directly operate its Singapore and Hong Kong stores, but in October 2005 its three Singapore stores were sold to CapitaLand Limited, which transferred them to Beijing Hualian Group later the same year. The group's Hong Kong store in New Town Plaza, Sha Tin was sold to Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited in June 2005, but like the store in Singapore it continued to operate under the Seiyu name until April 27, 2008, then the store is renamed as BHG which stands for 'Be Here for Good things' .
"Seiyu Group" refers to an association of companies, of which The Seiyu, Ltd. is the parent company. The companies in Seiyu Group are:
- The Seiyu, Ltd. (parent company)
- Hokkaido Seiyu Co., Ltd.
- Tohoku Seiyu Co., Ltd.
- S.S.V. Inc.
- Kyushu Seiyu Co., Ltd.
- Sunny Co., Ltd.
- Wakana Co., Ltd.
- Smile Corp.
- The SCC, Ltd.
- Nicoh Inc.
- Nijicom Ltd.
- Smis Co., Ltd.
- Seiyu Service Co., Ltd
- "Company Profile." Seiyu. Retrieved on November 7, 2011. "Head Office 1-1, Akabane 2-chome, Kita-ku, Tokyo 115-0045, Japan"
- "ACCESS:HEAD QUARTER." Seiyu. Retrieved on November 7, 2011. "Seiyu GK 1-1, Akabane 2-chome, Kita-ku, Tokyo, Japan 115-0045"
- Friedman, Thomas (2006). The World is Flat. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-374-29279-9.
- Japan Isn't Buying The Wal-Mart Idea
- Wal-Mart – Facts & News
- "Wal-Mart Increases Stake in Japan's Seiyu to 95.1% (Update2)". Bloomberg. December 5, 2007.
- "Corporate Data." Seiyu Group. Retrieved on May 19, 2009. "Registered Head Office 1-1, Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-chome, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan 170-6071" and "Head Office 1-1, Akabane 2-chome, Kita-ku, Tokyo, Japan 115-0045"
- "CapitaLand acquires Seiyu stores in Singapore". October 19, 2005. Retrieved March 25, 2006.
- "Beijing Hualian buys Seiyu Singapore". China Economic Net. December 2, 2005. Retrieved March 25, 2006.
- "Sun Hung Kai Properties acquired Seiyu (Shatin) Company Limited". June 1, 2005. Retrieved March 25, 2006.