Is Walmart In The Uk Or London? (Yes, But Not What You Think)
Walmart, a mega-retailer, has over 11,000 stores around the world. It employs millions and serves hundreds of millions each day.
It seems natural to think that UK and London-based shoppers would be able to simply pop in to their local Walmart, pick up anything they need.
Is Walmart In The UK Or London In 2022?
Walmart has an equity stake in Asda’s grocery chain in the UK. Asda, which Walmart acquired in 1999 under its original company name, was renamed by the Issa brothers and marked Walmart’s entry to the UK Market. Walmart retained its equity investment in Asda and the seat on their board of directors, while the Issa siblings completed the majority-stake buyout.
How Did Walmart Enter The United Kingdom?
Asda, a UK-based supermarket chain, has been well-known since its opening in West Yorkshire in the 1920s.
Originally a butcher get-up, the offerings expanded, and the business grew to become a series of discount-price supermarkets.
The chain gained popularity in South America during the 60s, 70s, and eventually made its way to London in 1982.
Asda had been in trouble by 1990 and there was talk of merging.
A $10.8 billion deal was made by Walmart to acquire Asda. The news caused immediate panic in the UK.
Asda had just dissolved talks with Kingfisher plc, and both Asda and Walmart had vehemently denied their intention to team up in the months prior.
Yet, it seems that the merger was not a shock.
Asda was opening new stores. The Supercentres are named after Walmart.
Walmart is not surprising to have been impressed by the Asda brand.
This acquisition was seen at the time as the start of Walmart’s European dominance.
However, after not launching particularly well in Germany under the Walmart brand, it seems that Walmart has decided to look elsewhere for expansion.
That context explains why they bought out the Issa/EG Group after exiting the UK.
Why Is ASDA Not Called Walmart?
Quora commenter has an interesting explanation of why Asda store did not transform into Walmart stores in 1999.
According to him, it was a smart move from Walmart to keep UK shoppers happy with their American retail philosophy (which Walmart is).
Walmart, however could profit quietly from the brand loyalty and trust that UK customers had for Asda over the past half-century.
I’m not sure if you feel the same way, but it makes me mad when my grocery store has a different layout.
The huge disruption that would result from a brand-new branding, combined with the decimation and destruction of the existing store layout Asda shoppers have come to love, could have been quite disruptive.
And that’s just the emotional toll.
Practically speaking, this would be a very expensive proposition for Walmart. Asda actually has hundreds of outlets across the UK.
Walmart Acquired ASDA from Whom?
Walmart is still technically present in the UK with their minority stake in Asda, but the new owners are the Issa brothers, billionaires and owners of the EG Group.
Walmart’s plans to expand into new countries can be found in our post on whether Walmart operates in Japan and India.
Walmart’s presence in the UK and London has diminished since the Asda buyout by the Issa brothers.
Walmart had the Asda grocery chain in London and UK for nearly 20 years, as part its network of international holdings.
With the sale of the Asda company, Walmart appears to be looking toward Asian markets instead.
.Is Walmart In The Uk Or London? (Yes, But Not What You Think)