Rakuten and Walmart join hands for online grocery delivery in Japan

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Rakuten and Walmart join hands for online grocery delivery in Japan

Walmart, the US retail giant has announced that it will partner with Rakuten to launch a new online grocery delivery service in Japan. Rakuten which is one of the biggest e commerce websites in Japan confirmed this joint venture.

Customers will place their order on Rakuten and these orders will be fulfilled by the joint venture. Walmart already has an online grocery delivery service in Japan but it is not performing well. The joint venture between both the retailers is expected to launch this year. Moreover, the new venture will replace Walmart’s current grocery delivery service that it offers to its Japanese customers.

As part of this joint venture, Kobo which is Rakuten’s subsidiary will sell audiobooks, e-readers and e-books through Walmart stores in the United States. Experts believe that this will give the Japanese e-retailer a strong presence in the US retail market.

Walmart aims to strength its position in the global market by teaming up with well-known local players.  A couple of years ago, Walmart applied a similar strategy in China. The US retailer sold its website to JD.com which is one of the largest online retailer in China.

Rakuten has a total of 14,000 employees and is the biggest ecommerce firm in Japan. In the last couple of years, Rakuten has expanded its operations globally by a number of acquisitions in financial technology, telecommunication and online retail.

Walmart believes that Rakuten’s experience and capability in e-commerce will give it an edge in the Japanese market. Walmart has also expressed confidence in Rakuten’s artificial intelligence capabilities as well as its big data.

Industry experts believe that Walmart will now give a hard time to Amazon in Japan. As part of this deal, Walmart will also be able to sell millions of audiobooks and e-books to Japanese customers.

The new venture between Walmart and Rakuten will be called Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper. Customers of this venture will also be able to collect points on their purchase which can then be used on other Rakuten services. Both Rakuten and Walmart are expected to benefit from this joint venture.