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A somewhat cynical commentary attributed to the late American TV comedian Jackie Gleason goes, “Anybody who says money can’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop.”

Shopping per se, however, is an essential daily activity for many, and no one was particularly happy when the owner of a major retail chain signaled its intention to bail out of the market — as U.S. giant Walmart did in July when it announced plans to divest itself of its Seiyu stores.

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