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Walmart and Rakuten team up for Japanese online grocery deliveries

Walmart & Rakuten team up for Japanese online grocery deliveries

Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, has teamed up with ecommerce giant Rakuten to offer Japanese customers access to online grocery deliveries.

Playing to the strengths of both parties the partnership will launch over the second half of 2018 with Walmart hoping that the initiative will re-energise its flagging international operations amid a downturn in Brazil and ferocious competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl against its Asda operation in Britain.

Rakuten's Seiyu Netsuper will supplant Walmart’s existing online grocery delivery platform, enabling customers to order products direct from Rakuten’s established online marketplace, with orders being fulfilled by a jointly operated Walmart-Rakuten warehouse in addition to the use of Walmart’s Seiyu stores.

Walmart is coming under pressure from arch-rival Amazon which has trialed its competing ‘Fresh’ in selected districts of Tokyo as retailers struggle to establish themselves in a nascent market. Equally this new initiative will enable it to go on the offensive, challenging Amazon directly on home soil in the growing e-book and audiobook sector through the sale of 6m titles owned by Rakuten’s Kobo brand.

Walmart has experimented with ride hailing companies such as Uber, Lyft and Deliv to offer a grocery pick-up service from more than 1,100 participating US stores.

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