Seiyu Private Brand Sets Sights on China

seiyu-walmart.comJapanese grocer Seiyu will sell its private brands in China through a relationship with its parent company Walmart. Seiyu is one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan, established in 1963. In 2002, Walmart acquired a 6.1% stake in Seiyu. In 2005, Walmart acquired a majority interest, making Seiyu a Walmart subsidiary. Walmart proceeded with additional steps to acquire all of the remaining shares, which resulted in the delisting of Seiyu shares from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2008. Later that year, Seiyu became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart.

The retailer plans to market processed foods popular in China such as snacks, drip coffee and condiments including soy sauce and dressing at more than 400 stores operated by a Chinese unit of Walmart, as well as the Internet.

Private brand items include more than 700 products. Approximately 40 of those will be availabl online as early as mid-March and roll out in-store in April.

Walmart is increasingly sharing merchandise among group companies worldwide to sharpen competitiveness. Seiyu, for example, imports items from British supermarket Asda, while the Chinese unit also imports items from Asda and the U.S. including Walmart’s globally recognized private label Great Value.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.