It may have conquered the UK High Street, but Tesco has said enough is enough and called time on its Japanese ambitions.
Its Japanese operations are already the smallest of Tesco’s 13 international businesses with a total footprint of 129 stores – half of which remain profitable, the company added.
"We have reviewed our portfolio in Asia and the performance of our business in Japan,” CEO Philip Clarke said. “Having made considerable efforts in Japan, we have concluded that we cannot build a sufficiently scalable business.
"We have decided to sell our operations there and focus on our larger businesses in the region, in line with our priority of driving growth and improving returns. I want to thank our colleagues in Japan for their continued dedication to the business.
"With good stores in good locations across Greater Tokyo, we will be undertaking a formal sale process over the coming months and the business will continue to trade as usual in the meantime."
Tesco is currently the world’s third largest retail empire.