June 17, 2019
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • Seiyu GK

Rakuten and Seiyu to Provide Japan's First Domestic Drone Commercial Delivery Service to Island Visitors This Summer

Seiyu food and beverages for barbecues and first aid supplies to be delivered to Sarushima off the coast of Yokosuka

Tokyo, June 17, 2019 - Rakuten, Inc. and Seiyu GK today announced plans to provide a drone delivery service to deliver products from the Seiyu LIVIN Yokosuka Store in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, to visitors to Sarushima, an island in Tokyo Bay and popular tourist spot. The service will launch this summer on July 4, 2019, and run for around three months*1. It is the first commercial drone delivery service to a remote island designed for general users in Japan.

Sarushima, the only uninhabited island in Tokyo Bay, is a popular sightseeing destination that receives 200,000 visitors yearly. Particularly popular in summer, many tourists come to the island to enjoy barbecues, swimming and fishing.

Visitors to Sarushima who download the Rakuten Drone app onto their smartphone can place orders through the app for products on offer at the Seiyu LIVIN Yokosuka Store located on the shore opposite the island. A range of approximately 400 products can be ordered, including food such as fresh produce for barbecues, beverages and first-aid products. Chilled delivery items are sent using specially-designed insulated delivery bags developed by Seiyu. Deliveries will be made by Rakuten Drone delivery drones at designated times to a drone landing port built on Sarushima.

As the route used for delivery flies primarily over the ocean, drone delivery can be carried out with greater safety. By offering this drone delivery service over the summer period to visitors enjoying leisure activities on the island, Rakuten hopes to provide consumers with an opportunity to experience a new form of shopping utilizing drones. Yokosuka City is currently promoting the "Yokosuka x Smart Mobility Challenge"*2 with the goal of creating new businesses and solving social problems using smart mobility. By providing this drone service, Yokosuka City hopes to gain an understanding of product segments popular with consumers, develop experience in operating drone deliveries, and leverage this knowledge and expertise to support people with limited access to shopping in certain areas of Yokosuka and improve disaster relief capabilities.

“We are very happy to expand our collaboration with Seiyu on Rakuten Ichiba and Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper to include the field of drone logistics," said Koji Ando, ​​Managing Executive Officer of Rakuten. "With this service, we aim to offer customers an innovative, advanced shopping experience in which products they order will be delivered by drone. Based on this initiative, we will accelerate innovation so that more people can experience the convenience of drone delivery."

Tamae Takeda, Executive Senior Vice President of Seiyu's EC Division, said, "Seiyu has also been looking into drone deliveries for our online supermarket, and we are very excited to work with Rakuten in this field. In the future, through Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, which we jointly operate with Rakuten, we want to contribute to enriching the lives of more customers by delivering high-quality products at low prices to everyone, including those who have difficulty shopping at stores."

Rakuten and Seiyu will continue to deliver greater levels of convenience and more enjoyable shopping experiences by innovating and working together to provide more comfortable lifestyles.

*1 This is the current service plan. The possibility exists that the service start date may change depending on weather conditions.
*2 For more information: http://www.yrp.co.jp/sukamobi/index.html

Overview of drone delivery service to Sarushima
Period of operation: July 2019 to September 2019, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Start of order intake: Each business delivery day at 12:00 am)
*There is a possibility that the days of operation may change. In the case of such a change, guidance will be provided on the Rakuten Drone website and smartphone app.
How to use: Download the Rakuten Drone app and log in with a Rakuten ID. Select the desired products from among the 400 items listed on the app, choose the desired delivery time from the available times presented, and pay with "Rakuten Pay (Online payment)" to complete the order. The delivery status can be checked on the app. When the delivered products arrive, an app push notification will be sent.
Delivery fee: 500 yen (tax included) *Not included in the price of purchased items.
Main products: Meat, vegetables, alcohol, beverages, consumables and emergency supplies such as adhesive bandages, etc.
*The delivery service will be cancelled during poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or strong winds. The availability of the service for a given day can be viewed on the app.
Implementing companies: Rakuten, Inc. and Seiyu GK
Implementation coordinator: Triangle Co., Ltd.

About Seiyu
Seiyu operates retail chain stores nationwide from Hokkaido to Kyushu, selling fresh food, groceries, apparel, general merchandise and other products. As part of our commitment to customers "to deliver needed goods every day, whether in our store and also online, at unbeatable prices and reliable quality, in order to win the trust of consumers," we provide a shopping opportunity based on four principles: “Price Leadership”, “Quality and Freshness”, “Product Variety” and “Convenience”. In addition, we are fully leveraging the global network and large scale of our parent company, Walmart Inc., to provide a shopping experience that is well suited to the tastes and needs of Japanese customers.

About Rakuten Drone
“Rakuten Drone” was launched in 2016 as a service that provides drone delivery solutions. The service has achieved a record of results through demonstration experiments and trial services conducted in cooperation with companies and local governments. In 2017 the service delivered products using drones for about half a year in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture. In 2018 we conducted the first delivery experiment combining drones and UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles) in line with our near-future goal of creating unmanned delivery solutions in Japan and successful practical services.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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