With speculation rife that Walmart Inc. is seeking to offload Seiyu, its Japanese subsidiary, the U.S. retail behemoth's possible failure may be interpreted as the result of this country's ultracompetitive retail market.

After all, other global supermarket operators, such as Britain's Tesco PLC and France's Carrefour SA, have also suffered failed forays in Japan.

But rather than an inevitable outcome, the struggle to succeed is the result of a string of strategic failures that did little to endear consumers to the Seiyu-Walmart brand, according to a number of industry experts.