Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, is resuming normal operations at half the stores hampered by Japan’s strongest earthquake as residents struggle to find water, food and other necessities.
A dozen of Wal-Mart’s Seiyu stores in the quake-hit Sendai area are restarting full operations Monday after being limited mostly to relief efforts for two weeks, Scott Price, Wal-Mart’s Asia chief, said in an interview Sunday. Of the remaining 12 stores, 10 will be opened as soon as possible and two may take a “long time” because they’re covered in mud, he said.
Retailers from Wal-Mart to 7-Eleven operator Seven & I Holdings Co. are racing to reopen stores and replenish shelves after the March 11 disaster left hundreds of thousands in the Tohoku region, northeast Japan, scrambling for shelter, food and water. The magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami knocked out more than 1,000 stores in the Tohoku and Kanto regions, according to estimates at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.