Is Walmart In The Uk Or London? (Yes, But Not What You Think)
Walmart is a giant retailer that operates more than 11,000 outlets around the globe. They employ millions and serve hundreds of thousands of customers every day.
So it might be natural that UK and London shoppers can simply go to their nearest Walmart to pick up what they need.
Walmart Will Be In The UK, Or London By 2022
Walmart is in the UK as an equity investment holder in the grocery chain Asda. Asda was originally purchased by Walmart in 1999. The company’s name was retained and it marked Walmart’s entrance into the UK Market. Walmart was retained as an equity investor and a board member when the majority-stake purchase of Asda by the Issa Brothers took place in 2021.
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 grew south over the 60s and 70s before eventually reaching London in the 1980s.
Asda had been in trouble by 1990 and there was talk of merging.
The announcement that Walmart was making a $10.8 million bid to buy Asda came out in June 1999. It caused panic among UK retailers.
Asda recently ended discussions with Kingfisher plc. Both Asda and Walmart strongly denied that they had planned to work together in the past months.
However, it doesn’t appear like the merger could have been anything but a surprise.
Asda opened larger stores in response to the Walmart model. Supercentres were named after Supercenters and placed a strong emphasis on discounted pricing.
Walmart wouldn’t be surprised to see the Asda store with admiration.
The acquisition looked like it was the beginning of Walmart’s European dominance at the time.
Walmart, however, is not looking to build a store in Germany because it did not launch very well there.
The Issa brothers/EG Group’s “exit from the UK” is in this context. It happened only 20 years after they established a presence with Asda.
Why is ASDA not called Walmart?
Quora’s one commenter offers a reasonable explanation as to why Asda shops didn’t become Walmart in 1999.
In his opinion, this was an intelligent move by Walmart to not alienate UK shoppers with the decidedly American take on retail (which Walmart represents).
Walmart, however could profit quietly from the brand loyalty and trust that UK customers had for Asda over the past half-century.
It doesn’t surprise me that I become upset whenever my grocery store layout changes.
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.
It’s only the beginning of the emotional pain.
Practically speaking, think about how much that would have cost Walmart. Asda is a retailer with hundreds of shops across the UK.
How are Asda and Walmart similar?
As I have mentioned, Walmart and Asda are so similar that it made the initial acquisition of Walmart a very attractive move.
Business Insider’s writers went to Walmart and Asda in order to find out what was similar and different.
One example is that a Walmart typical store has stocked produce areas near its front.
You can find meats/butchers and seafood at the front of each store, or on the sides.
Asda offers a wide range of ready-made foods, which you can either microwave or bake.
Walmart, appealing to American shoppers who love convenience, does much the same, usually with an island cooler near the deli, where you can find heat-and-eat meals in plastic containers.
Final conclusion: While the formats and variety of food were very similar, Asda has more to do with grocery shopping and Walmart has more to do with “everything”.
Walmart Acquired ASDA from Whom?
Walmart remains technically in the UK thanks to their minor stake in Asda. But the Issa brothers are billionaires and the owners of the EG Group.
You can read our posts related to Walmart’s expansion in other countries. These include: if Walmart stores are in Japan; if Walmart exists in India and if Walmart will be coming to New Zealand.
Walmart’s presence in the UK and London has diminished since the Asda buyout by the Issa brothers.
Walmart, however, did for 20 years operate Asda’s supermarket chain in London as part their international holdings.
Walmart is likely to focus on Asian markets now that Asda has been sold.
.Is Walmart In The Uk Or London? (Yes, But Not What You Think)