The Bentonville, Ark., retail giant said Shinsegae is South Korea's leading retailer with 79 E-Mart hypermarkets in the country. It will continue to operate Wal-Mart Korea's 16 stores but rename them E-Mart.
"As we continue to focus our efforts where we can have the greatest impact on our growth strategy, it became increasingly clear that in South Korea's current environment it would be difficult for us to reach the scale we desired," said Wal-Mart Vice Chairman Mike Duke. "We have decided to sell our business to the market leader, as we believe this is the best option for our associates, customers and shareholders."
Wal-Mart will continue to have a global procurement sourcing office in Seoul. Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., U.K., Mexico and other markets carry South Korean products including apparel, plush toys and home textiles.
The agreement is subject to the approval by the Korea Fair Trade Commission.