Walmart, the parent company of UK grocer Asda, has announced a new ‘strategic alliance’ with ecommerce retailer Rakuten to launch an online delivery service in Japan.
US-based Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said the service will launch in the latter half 2018. Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, will replace Walmart’s current delivery service in Japan.
It will allow customers to place an order on Rakuten’s online marketplace platform, which will then be fulfilled by the Walmart-Rakuten joint venture.
Both Walmart and Rakuten also said they will open a warehouse to service these orders in addition to using Seiyu stores.
In addition, Walmart and Rakuten Kobo 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 in the United States starting later this year.
Walmart 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.”
Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, added: “As global leaders in e-commerce 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.”