Walmart and Rakuten launch their first online store in Japan

US retailer Walmart continues expansion into Asia's online retail market with the unveiling its latest venture in Japan with Rakuten


US-based retail giant Walmart, in collaboration with Japanese online retail company Rakuten, have announced the launch of its e-commerce store in Japan, the Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Store.

The idea for the two companies' new online store, the first Walmart e-commerce store in Japan, was sparked in January 2018. Walmart and Rakuten have signed a strategic alliance in an aim to expand the US retailer's presence in the Japanese e-commerce market.

From the launch of the first store, Japanese consumers will have access to approximately 1,200 US-branded products, with orders will be processed in the US before being shipped to Japan. Time scale of the order process, however, has not yet been mentioned.

In a statement, Walmart said: "The digital Walmart store offers Japanese consumers access to a wide variety of high-quality US branded products, including fashion apparel, outdoor goods and toys."

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Furthermore, Walmart Japanese supermarket subsidiary Seiyu GK will provide customer support "leveraging its years of experience serving local Japanese consumers".

Walmart international senior VP Nathan Kring said: "Through Seiyu, we have an in-depth understanding of this fast-changing market.

"The carefully curated assortment being offered on our flagship store reflects this insight and our ongoing dedication to Japanese shoppers," he added.

The launch of the new e-store follows a string of efforts to break into Asia's e-commerce market. Earlier this year, the US retailer invested $16bn into Indian e-commerce retail platform Flipkart.

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