From its detractors' polemics over its destruction of Main Street to its continuing status as a false bellwether for an entire nation's retail health, Wal-Mart (WMT) has undisputedly been one thing: an American story.That notion, though, is obsolete. As
"But time and again, Wal-Mart has found that its formula for success -- high volumes of cheap goods -- doesn't work everywhere. In 2006, it sold its stores in Germany and South Korea after failing to excite shoppers there with its deal-driven approach. And just last week, its Japanese unit, Seiyu, posted a loss of 20.9 billion yen, or $195.5 million, for the year ended Dec. 31. That's twice the 10.5 billion yen loss the company had forecast."