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Opinion

Walmart's exit would not spell doom for Japan's bricks-and-mortar retail

Faced with the e-commerce challenge, operators must innovate to make shopping exciting again

| Japan
Seiyu's trouble owes as much to its merchandise lineup as to the advent of e-commerce. (Photo by Wakako Iguchi)

At first sight, it looks easy enough to explain why Walmart might sell out of Seiyu, its Japanese retail chain, at around the same time as it is spending $16 billion on Flipkart, the leading Indian e-commerce group.

Clearly, so the argument goes, it would make sense for the U.S. giant to pull out of bricks and mortar in an aging stagnant economy whilst putting its money into online in a youthful fast-growing country. And -- equally obviously -- it would be quite right to do so.

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