Seiyu is a discount supermarket/general retail store that’s owned and operated by Walmart. Since first investing in the chain in 2002 and eventually taking a 95% stake, Walmart has reportedly never managed to make the stores profitable. I am not here to judge why that might be, but today shopping there I came across some evidence of why they might be having trouble making headway in the Japan market:
The letters KY are apparently intended to stand for “kakaku yasuku” (low prices), which would make the whole phrase “non-stop low prices” a translation of Walmart’s “Everyday Low Prices” slogan into Japanized English. Ironically enough, someone must not have realized that “KY” in Japan was last year’s buzzword and literally means failing to respond appropriately to the situation at hand.
Since a couple was joking about it on their way in, I can be sure I wasn’t the only one in on the joke.