The FINANCIAL — Rakuten, Inc. and Walmart, Inc. officially opened the first Walmart e-commerce store in Japan, the ”Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Store,” on the Rakuten Ichiba internet shopping mall.
The flagship store combines Walmart’s international expertise in delivering high-quality U.S. brand products at great prices and Rakuten’s strengths in online commerce to bring exciting new shopping experiences to Japanese consumers.
The digital Walmart store offers Japanese consumers access to a wide variety of high-quality U.S. branded products, including fashion apparel, outdoor goods and toys. The store will initially offer approximately 1,200 products from a diverse range of prestigious brands. Orders will be fulfilled in the U.S. and air freighted directly to Japanese customers, with a no surprises policy that includes shipping, duties and taxes in the product price.
Walmart plans to continue expanding its product range and adding new product categories from its international assortment to the Rakuten Ichiba store to meet customer needs. Walmart’s Japanese subisidary Seiyu GK will provide customer support for the store, leveraging its years of experience serving local Japanese consumers.
The digital Walmart store on Rakuten Ichiba is part of a strategic alliance between Walmart and Rakuten announced in January this year. The two companies are leveraging their unique strengths and assets to expand consumer reach and enhance the way customers are served in Japan and the U.S.
In October, Rakuten and Seiyu jointly officially opened the Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper. This new online grocery delivery service leverages Seiyu’s extensive experience in the local fresh food and grocery segments to bring greater convenience to Rakuten’s roughly 99 million-strong membership base.
In addition, Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo was launched in August of this year to give Walmart customers in the U.S. access to a comprehensive catalog of more than 6 million eBooks and audiobooks, as well as the Kobo eReader and a co-branded free reading app for iOS and Android devices.