retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Stories from Japan…

  • The Financial Times reports that Tesco has been taking a slow, calculated approach to its operations in Japan, which have been focused on c-store chain C-Two, which it acquired last year. Research into the country's shopping habits precluded opening hypermarkets or large supermarkets, according to Tesco's deputy chairman, David Reid, who said that "In Japan we learned that some housewives shop on bikes and shop daily, they visit six or seven shops looking for deals. You've got to understand these things."

    That doesn't mean that Tesco won't attempt to get into the hypermarket business at some point, Reid said, or that the company won't make further or different sorts of acquisitions. It's just that the company is being careful to understand the market's possibilities before making additional moves.


  • Japan's Seiyu Ltd, which is 37.6 percent owned by Wal-Mart, announced that it plans to eliminate a quarter of its workforce, or some 1,500 jobs, within the next two months.

    The chain termed the cuts a "voluntary retirement program" that will target full-time employees aged 30-58.

KC's View:
Seiyu may only be 37.6 percent owned by Wal-Mart, but the notion that it is eliminating full-time employees who are precisely of the age where they likely have responsibilities for feeding their families, paying for houses and college educations, supporting aging parents…well, that seems sort of familiar doesn’t it?

How many 30-year-old people with full-time jobs voluntarily retire?