Walmart, Rakuten partner on online grocery delivery service in Japan
Retail business news : Retail giant Walmart and Japanese ecommerce conglomerate Rakuten have announced a new strategic partnership to launch online grocery delivery service in Japan and for offering new eBooks and audiobooks in the United States.
The new online grocery delivery service in Japan is slated to commence in the third quarter of this year.
In this regard, Walmart’s subsidiary Seiyu GK, which is a Japanese supermarket chain, has made an agreement with Rakuten to form a joint venture named as Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper for the online grocery delivery service.
Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper will make use of the deep expertise of Rakuten in e-commerce to create a site with an optimized user experience. The online grocery delivery service will also utilize big data and artificial intelligence to provide a more personalized merchandise offering.
Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said: “Rakuten is a strong e-commerce business and we’re excited to collaborate with the top online shopping destination in Japan.
“Here in Japan and everywhere we operate, we’re constantly exploring new ways to make every day easier for customers by offering great experiences in stores, online, via mobile—no matter how customers want to shop. We look forward to expanding our grocery footprint in Japan and launching a new offering of eBooks and audiobooks for our customers in the U.S.”
As part of the strategic alliance, Walmart has also formed an exclusive retail alliance with Rakuten’s Canadian subsidiary Rakuten Kobo, which sells e-books, e-readers, audiobooks and tablet computers.
The agreement will see Walmart start selling eBooks and audiobooks and also offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com in the US during the course of the year.
Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn said: “Walmart is one of the top retailers in the world and one of the largest booksellers in the U.S. Our strategy from day one has been to partner with the world’s best retailers, so that they can easily offer their customers the option of reading digitally. This informs the software and devices we create, the books and authors we promote, and also the partnerships we build.
“For us, this is another great opportunity to serve book lovers at Walmart, those people who make reading an important part of their lives.”
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