Rakuten and Walmart partner to offer grocery service in Japan

Rakuten and Walmart, via subsidiary Seiyu GK, have reached an agreement to establish a joint venture to launch a new online grocery delivery service in Japan, to be known as “Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper.” The new enterprise is expected to launch in the second half of 2018. And other developments between the two companies are planned.

Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon and the Rakuten Chairman, president and CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani met in Tokyo last week to announce a new strategic alliance that intends to help customers in Japan and the U.S. with several nw joint ventures between the two companies.

The collaboration includes the launch of a new online grocery delivery service in Japan beginning in the third quarter of 2018. In addition, Walmart and Rakuten Kobo Inc. have formed an exclusive retail alliance that will enable Walmart to begin selling ebooks and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders, in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com in the United States starting later this year.

McMillon said of the deal: “Rakuten is a strong ecommerce 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.”

Mikitani said of the arrangement: “As global leaders in ecommerce and offline shopping, Rakuten and Walmart are uniquely positioned to empower our customers around the world with innovative services. We are excited to partner with Walmart because of its commitment to creating the best solutions to serve customers with low prices.”

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