TOKYO, Japan, August 22, 2018 – Rakuten, Inc. and Walmart, Inc. today announced the official launch of Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo, which offers a comprehensive eBook, audiobook and eReader solution to Walmart customers in the U.S.
The Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo service offers customers instant access to a catalogue of more than 6 million eBooks and audiobooks, ranging from New York Times best-sellers, to a wide variety of indie titles, children’s books and more. Content is accessible through a co-branded free app available for iOS and Android devices, as well as through Kobo eReaders, which will also be offered in select stores and on Walmart.com.
“The launch of Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo marks a milestone for our strategic alliance,” commented Rakuten, Inc. Group Executive Vice President and President of Media & Sports Company, Makoto Arima. “Walmart is one of the world’s largest booksellers and we’re excited to bring even more selection and value to book lovers across the U.S.”
“Working with Kobo enables us to quickly and efficiently launch a full eBook and audiobook catalog on Walmart.com alongside our assortment of physical books,” said Mario Pacini, General Manager, Entertainment, Walmart eCommerce U.S. “Ultimately, this is about giving our customers another way to access books.”
Walmart eBooks is a part of a strategic alliance between Walmart and Rakuten announced in January this year. The two companies are leveraging their unique strengths and assets to expand consumer reach and enhance the way customers are served in Japan and the U.S.
Rakuten and Seiyu GK, a Japanese subsidiary of Walmart, are collaborating on an online grocery delivery service “Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper.”
For more information on the launch of Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo, please visit: https://news.walmart.com/2018/08/22/walmart-and-kobo-launch-walmart-ebooks-including-an-audiobook-subscription-for-999
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1.2 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 15,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 265 million customers and members visit our more than 11,200 stores under 55 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.
Seiyu operates retail chain stores nationwide from Hokkaido to Kyushu, selling fresh food, groceries, apparel, general merchandise and other products. We are striving to deliver our customers “Our Promise”: Offering everyday needs at unbeatable prices at the quality they want through the channel they prefer to shop, such as stores, and online grocery delivery service, which provides them with highly valuable shopping experience of key attributes for differentiation: “Price Leadership”, “Quality and Freshness”, “Product Assortment” and “Convenience”.
Fully leveraging the global network and creditworthiness of our parent company, Walmart, Inc., we will actively develop attractive sales floors to better suit the preference and needs of Japanese customers.
About Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering nearly 6 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any Reader’s style including Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE; along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple® and Android®. Kobo’s award-wining eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.