Subsidiary of Walmart
|Headquarters||Akabane (赤羽), Kita, Tokyo|
Number of locations
|328 (January 31, 2021)|
|Lionel Desclée (President and CEO)|
|Products||Grocery, general merchandise|
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 American retail giant Walmart. Its head office is in Akabane (赤羽), Kita, Tokyo.
The group was established in December 1946, and 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 the Ryohin Keikaku Company in 1990, and is no longer part of Seiyu.
On December 31, 2003, Seiyu and Walmart signed a partnership agreement in which Walmart would teach global supply chain practices. Numazu, Shizuoka was the site of the first Seiyu store using Walmart methods.
Walmart 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 100% ownership in 2008.
In 2019, Walmart named Lionel Desclée, formerly of Delhaize and the Belgian pet shop chain Tom&Co, president and CEO of both Seiyu and Walmart Japan. In remarks after his appointment, he said Walmart had no interest in selling Seiyu. However, that June, Walmart outlined plans to relist Seiyu on the stock market.
In 2020, Walmart announced they would be selling 65% of their shares in the company to private-equity firm KKR in a deal valuing 329 stores and 34,600 employees at $1.6 billion. Walmart is supposed to retain 15% and a seat on the board, while Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. will receive 20%.
Stores outside Japan
In addition to its Japanese operations, Seiyu also had department stores operating under its name in Singapore and Hong Kong. The group used to directly operate these 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 stores in Singapore, continued to operate under the Seiyu name until April 2008. The Singapore stores were then renamed BHG, which stands for "Beijing Hualian Group".
Seiyu Group refers to an association of companies, of which The Seiyu, Ltd. is the parent. The companies in Seiyu Group are:
- The Seiyu, Ltd.
- 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"
- "Walmart Investor Relations - Investors - Financial Information - Unit Counts & Square Footage". stock.walmart.com. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
- "Lionel Desclée". Corporate - US. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "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". Archived from the original on April 27, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2006.
- Wal-Mart – Facts & News
- "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"
- Author, No (March 18, 2019). "New Seiyu CEO says Walmart not looking to sell its Japanese supermarket chain". The Japan Times. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- "Walmart to relist Seiyu as US retailer revamps global operations". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
- Narioka, Peter Landers and Kosaku (November 16, 2020). "Walmart Retreats Around Globe to Focus on E-Commerce". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
- "CapitaLand acquires Seiyu stores in Singapore". October 19, 2005. Archived from the original on April 17, 2007. 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.