Japan’s head merchant wins top Walmart award

Given all the talk of EDLP at Walmart’s annual shareholders’ meeting, it was understandable the company chose Maki Nakamura, chief merchandising officer at Walmart Japan, as the recipient of the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Walmart’s Seiyu stores in Japan have been implementing every day low prices for several years, and the company’s patience has finally paid off with improved business results in what has been a challenging market.

“She is an important role model for our associates,” said Walmart board member Jim Walton, sharing the stage with his sister Alice and brother and Walmart chairman Rob Walton. “She is a great leader driving great results. Our dad would be proud.”

Not long after Walmart acquired an ownership interest in Seiyu, Nakamura spent time in the U.S. learning the principles of EDLP before returning to Japan to serve as a champion of the cause.