Why Did Walmart Fail to Enter the Japanese Market?

Walmart entered the Japanese market in 2002 but failed to adjust their business model and operations to the Japanese culture. The American multinational retail corporation failed to understand the consumers and retail environment in Japan.

Japan is a smart market for retailers due to its massive population which is the largest per capita income and the third largest economy in the world. There was an opportunity to make it in Japan, but it entailed extensive research and planning that had to be conducted before the company expanded.

Instead of adjusting its business operations to the Japanese culture, Walmart significantly assumed the Japanese would willingly adjust to its business operations. For instance, in Japan, there is much greater need for local store customisation Consumer buyer behaviour is completely different than in the US, with buying patterns and product selection depending on the regions.

Japanese consumers tend to buy smaller quantities in regular intervals while American consumers buy large quantities; they stock up. Japanese consumers tend to purchase fresh products rather than pre-packaged goods.

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