Report: Carrefour plans Japanese exit move

The French retail group Carrefour is looking to sell its Japanese operations, according to the Asian Wall Street Journal.

The sale of the eight Japanese outlets, which sources close to the company say could generate as much as $400 million, would make the French company one of the highest-profile retailers to pull out of the Japanese market.

Prospective buyers include Wal-Mart, Tesco and Asian giant Aeon Group. Wal-Mart and Tesco have been trying to expand into the Japanese market for a while, which is notoriously tough for foreign retailers as they struggle to cope with operational differences such as limited floor space.

Carrefour has now shifted the focus of its Asian operations. Last month it announced it would invest 250 billion won ($218.3 million) in South Korea and, like other large retailers, has shown a strong interest in China’s burgeoning $240 billion retail sector.

Tokyo (JPN)