Following French supermarket giant Carrefour's recent arrival into the Japanese retail sector, US behemoth and global number one Wal-Mart has announced that it is to follow suit with a 15,000m² mega-store in 2002. Retail spending has declined over the last four years, as national economic problems made Japanese consumers increasingly cost-conscious, but this is proving a strong attraction for international operators of discount stores, the one sector that is growing rapidly. Furthermore, it is hoped that competition will become fiercer still once Carrefour, the second largest global chain, and Wal-Mart are properly established, generating a revival in consumer confidence.