Walmart and Rakuten form strategic alliance

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(Source: Inside Retail Asia | January 26, 2018)

In Tokyo today, Walmart president/CEO Doug McMillon and Rakuten chairman/president/CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani announced a strategic alliance aimed at expanding consumer reach and enhancing customer service.

Included in the collaboration is the launch of an online grocery delivery service in Japan as well as an exclusive retail alliance between the US retail giant and e-reading service Rakuten Kobo. This will enable Walmart to sell e-books and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo e-readers in stores and online in the US.

“We’re excited to collaborate with the top online shopping destination in Japan,” says McMillon.

“We look forward to expanding our grocery footprint in Japan and launching eBooks and audiobooks for our customers in the US.”

Rakuten and Seiyu GK, a Walmart subsidiary, have reached a basic agreement to establish a JV to launch a delivery service for online grocery shoppers in Japan, to be known as Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper and planned to start late this year. With the aim of increasing fulfillment capacity, enriching the merchandise offering and improving customer convenience, the service will establish a fulfilment centre this year as well as offering deliveries from Seiyu stores.
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