Friday, March 8, 2013
Rakuten To Expand Online Supermarket Delivery Area Via Tie-Up
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Rakuten Inc. (4755) will expand the delivery area of its Rakuten Mart online supermarket Monday by tapping the services of a delivery company with which it has formed a capital alliance.
The e-commerce giant is believed to have acquired some 15% of outstanding shares in ecohai Co., which serves major metropolitan areas, including Tokyo and Osaka.
The investment, estimated at several hundred million yen, is Rakuten's first in a domestic logistics concern. As a start, ecohai will handle shipments from Rakuten Mart regional logistics bases to customers' homes. Rakuten hopes to cultivate delivery and customer service know-how through its tie-up.
The company plans to join forces with regional logistics firms throughout Japan and eventually take the delivery network national.
In principle, Rakuten Mart can deliver 2,000 or so products, including such perishables as fish and vegetables, to customers the day after an order is accepted.
(The Nikkei, March 8 morning edition)