The two retailers partnered to open the first Walmart ecommerce store in Japan, enabling online shopping and delivery of Walmart's U.S. products directly to Japanese consumers

As big-box retailer Walmart looks to expand its online footprint both in the U.S. and abroad, partnerships and acquisitions have been key to its strategy. After announcing a strategic alliance in January of this year, the first part of the Rakuten Walmart partnership, Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, launched this October. Seiyu, a wholly owned Japanese subsidiary of Walmart, is one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan.

With Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper’s online grocery delivery service, Walmart used Seiyu’s experience with local fresh food and grocery to provide even greater convenience to Rakuten members. Now with the launch of Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Store, Walmart is well poised to grab an even bigger part of Japan’s existing e-commerce market of approximately $150 billion per year. While details are still forthcoming, the store plans to feature 1,200 U.S. branded products, including clothing, outdoor items and kids toys. Orders will be fulfilled in the U.S., sent by air to Japan, and delivered by Rakuten.

This approach to entering the Japanese market mirrors Walmart’s strategy in other Asian markets, e.g. its Chinese partnership with JD.com. Through this strategy, Walmart hopes to better compete with the likes of Amazon and minimize risk by taking advantage of existing infrastructure while also capitalizing on local brand recognition.

Walmart

Rakuten

As big-box retailer Walmart looks to expand its online footprint both in the U.S. and abroad, partnerships and acquisitions have been key to its strategy. After announcing a strategic alliance in January of this year, the first part of the Rakuten Walmart partnership, Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, launched this October. Seiyu, a wholly owned Japanese subsidiary of Walmart, is one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan.

With Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper’s online grocery delivery service, Walmart used Seiyu’s experience with local fresh food and grocery to provide even greater convenience to Rakuten members. Now with the launch of Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Store, Walmart is well poised to grab an even bigger part of Japan’s existing e-commerce market of approximately $150 billion per year. While details are still forthcoming, the store plans to feature 1,200 U.S. branded products, including clothing, outdoor items and kids toys. Orders will be fulfilled in the U.S., sent by air to Japan, and delivered by Rakuten.