Wal-Mart (ticker: WMT) executive Ed Kolodzieski will reportedly become CEO of Seiyu Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange ticker: 8268) Japan's 5th largest retail chain. Pending shareholder approval the announcement would become official as of December 15th. In fact, this is the same time in which Seiyu will become a subsidiary of Wal-Mart.
Key points from Yahoo Financial News (via AP Tokyo) coverage of the Kolodzieski announcement include:
• Seiyu will keep its brand name, although executives said the company may consider adopting the Wal-Mart name in the future.
• Seiyu [has] cut its profit forecast for the full year through December, citing a high level of promotions and discounts to attract customers. The chain is now expecting its net loss to widen to 13.5 billion yen ($117.4 million), from a July forecast of 7.5 billion yen ($65.2 million).
• "Seiyu's performance in the third quarter has been disappointing, but we remain confident in the company's long-term future," Mike Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart International, said in the statement.
• Kolodzieski has 28 years of retail and supermarket experience and joined Wal-Mart in May 2000. He was first involved in Seiyu in 1992 when he led a managerial and cultural exchange program between Seiyu and Kash N' Karry Foods, a U.S. supermarket chain.
• One challenge Wal-Mart faces is that Japanese retailers have begun to imitate Wal-Mart's mall-type stores. The company has also learned it must adapt to local tastes in Japan, and has not yet been able to offer the extremely low prices here like those with which the chain built its brand in the United States.