French retail giant Carrefour is reported to be planning to sell its operations in Japan in a bid to generate cash amid continuing weak sales in Europe.

Carrefour's Japanese operations, including eight stores and real estate, could fetch up to US$400m, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing people close to the retailer.

The company, which operates more than 6,000 stores, has been struggling to cope with weak consumer spending and increased competition from discount retailers in Europe and may issue a sales and profit warning this week, the newspaper said.

The current situation may prompt the company to divest some of its foreign retail operations in order to focus on its core European markets.

Potential bidders for Carrefour's Japanese operations could include US retail giant Wal-Mart, UK rival Tesco and Japanese retailer Aeon, the report said.