Walmart is currently in partnership with Rakuten that will allow the U.S. eCommerce to start selling digital books for the first time later in 2018. The Walmart and Kobo co-branded apps will be released for both audiobook and eBook content and will be purchased through Walmart’s official website.
Walmart announced its decision a few weeks ago, giving Walmart customers access to Rakuten Kobo’s six million audiobooks and eBooks. Walmart’s loyal customers will soon be able to read eBooks through Rakuten Kobo reading devices. Walmart’s decision to penetrate the eBook industry only comes years after Amazon started to dominate the market.
“This ship sailed years ago,” Peter Hildick-Smith, Codex-Group President
The eBook industry has shown signs of slowing down, a dreary sign that readers are now going back to print copies. According to Association of American Publishers, eBook revenue fell to $743.5 million from January to August 2017. It is 5.3 lower compared to the 2016 sales, New York Times wrote.
Walmart and Rakuten to start grocery delivery in Japan
As part of the deal, Walmart is also partnering with Rakuten to expand its online grocery delivery business in Japan. The deal will allow Walmart’s online grocery business in Japan to expand. Rakuten’s current online marketplace has at least 93 million registered members, covering a huge portion of online shoppers in Japan.
The services will soon offer groceries such as fresh produce at the start of the second half of the year; and popular local gourmet products from sellers on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace.
Walmart currently owns Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu and currently offers grocery delivery service through local stores. Walmart has been driving customers to order their food online and then pick it up at the nearest store in the United States. In Japan, Walmart’s partnership with Rakuten will converge on delivering groceries at homes.