TOKYO, July 9, 2012 ? Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), Japan’s top e-commerce company, announced today that its group company Rakuten Mart, Inc. (“Rakuten Mart,” Representative Director and President: Naohiko Kitsuta, Head office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) has launched a new online supermarket called “Rakuten Mart” on July 9.
Rakuten Mart is a directly-owned and operated online store for which Rakuten itself procures and sells food items and other products. Rakuten has established a dedicated distribution center so that it can provide consumers with end-to-end delivery services. This structure will enable Rakuten to offer efficient logistics services where orders will be shipped the next day. Initially, services will be offered for consumers living in four of Tokyo’s wards, including Tohima Ward, Kita Ward, Itabashi Ward, and Nerima Ward. Service coverage will be gradually expanded to other areas of Japan in the future.
Rakuten has supported the online shopping businesses of companies across Japan through its Internet shopping mall Rakuten Ichiba. Through Rakuten Mart, Rakuten will operate its own online supermarket to promote the more frequent use of Internet shopping and to expand the scope of online shopping services for seniors, mothers with young children who cannot travel far to go shopping, and company employees that are too busy to go shopping.
Rakuten Mart’s greatest advantage is that consumers can purchase fresh produce and daily essentials, as well as smaller quantities of popular special order gourmet foods offered on Rakuten Ichiba, where they are normally sold in bulk quantities. Rakuten Ichiba merchants can sell their products through Rakuten Mart, and ship them together with fresh produce and other items, making it possible now to offer consumers more attractive prices and smaller quantities of products that were once difficult to sell in small quantities due to shipping costs.
In addition, focus will also be placed on food safety, with all fruits and vegetables grown in Japan undergoing radiation screenings and all rice products receiving DNA testing. The name of the prefecture where the product was produced will be clearly labeled, and the website will allow consumers to search for items based on the location where they were produced.
Rakuten Mart will also publish a weekly catalogue, and take orders both online and over the phone in order to expand its target users.
Through Rakuten Mart, Rakuten is committed to providing fun and convenient services to consumers for their daily shopping needs, as well as to helping expand Japan’s online supermarket and Internet shopping markets.