Walmart, the world’s largest retailer by sales, has announced a strategic tie-up with Tokyo-based Rakuten, which operates one of Japan’s biggest online shopping platforms.
The partnership aims to leverage the unique strengths and assets of the two firms “to expand consumer reach and enhance how customers are served in Japan and the US,” according to a press release Thursday.
Under the alliance, Walmart and Rakuten will roll out a new online grocery delivery service in Japan in the third quarter this year.
Also, Walmart will begin selling eBooks and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders, in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com in the United States.
Walmart is “constantly exploring new ways to make every day easier for customers by offering great experiences in stores, online, via mobile,” the company’s president and chief executive, Doug McMillon, said in the statement.
Noting Rakuten’s strengths in e-commerce, McMillon said Walmart looks forward to boosting its grocery footprint in Japan.
“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,” Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s chairman and CEO, added in the statement.
“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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