Rakuten has a fresh new partnership.
On October 25, Rakuten and Seiyu, a subsidiary of Walmart that is one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan, celebrated the grand opening of Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, a new online grocery delivery service for Japan. A press conference held in central Tokyo attracted over 130 media representatives for the event as interest runs high in the changing makeup of the retail sector and the blend of offline and online shopping.
“Online sales of groceries account for 2-3% of the whole grocery market but, with the increase in working couples and other changes, we expect further growth” said Noriaki Komori, executive officer and head of the first party business at Rakuten, at the press conference. “Rakuten and Seiyu are aiming to be the leaders in online grocery.”
Part of the strategic alliance between Rakuten and Walmart announced in January this year, which also saw the two companies collaborate to launch Walmart’s new eBook offering with Rakuten Kobo in the U.S., the new service aims to leverage Rakuten’s experience in e-commerce and Seiyu’s supermarket know-how to offer a more convenient online grocery shopping experience that meets the changing lifestyles and needs of customers in Japan.
As well as fresh produce and daily necessities that showcase Seiyu’s core competitive strengths of “quality” and “low prices,” the service also offers a rich lineup of convenient items such as cut vegetables, partially-prepared food, and ready-meal kits that serve the needs of customers increasingly short on time. It also offers local gourmet products from merchants on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace, as well as organic vegetables and salads from the Rakuten Ragri agricultural service.
The grand opening coincided with the official launch of a new dedicated Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper fulfillment center in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture, and a number of delivery bases located around Tokyo. With these delivery bases and the dedicated fulfillment center as a hub, the service will further expand its capacity to make timely deliveries to customers of fresh food and other products.
But the convenience doesn’t stop there. Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper will also leverage the Rakuten ID system. Customers can use their Rakuten ID to register and manage their shopping experience, as well as earn and use Rakuten Super Points.
Through the Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper service, the two companies aim to become the leading online grocery service provider in Japan, and with their track record of delivering the goods, both on and offline, busy shoppers in Japan have a lot to be excited about.