Wal-Mart and Rakuten to launch online grocery delivery service Japan and new eBooks and audiobooks offering in the U.S.

Companies to launch online grocery delivery service in Japan and new eBooks and audiobooks offering in the U.S.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. and TOKYO, Japan, 2018-Jan-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) president and CEO Doug McMillon and Rakuten, Inc. Chairman, president and CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani met in Tokyo today ( Jan. 25, 2018) to announce a new strategic alliance that leverages each company’s unique strengths and assets to expand consumer reach and enhance how customers are served in Japan and the U.S.

The collaboration includes the launch of a new online grocery delivery service in Japan beginning in the third quarter of 2018. In addition, Walmart and Rakuten Kobo Inc. have formed an exclusive retail alliance that will enable Walmart to begin selling eBooks and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders, in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com in the United States starting later this year.

“Rakuten is a strong e-commerce business and we’re excited to collaborate with the top online shopping destination in Japan,” McMillon said. “Here in Japan and everywhere we operate, we’re constantly exploring new ways to make every day easier for customers by offering great experiences in stores, online, via mobile—no matter how customers want to shop. We look forward to expanding our grocery footprint in Japan and launching a new offering of eBooks and audiobooks for our customers in the U.S.”

Mikitani said, “As global leaders in e-commerce and offline shopping, Rakuten and Walmart are uniquely positioned to empower our customers around the world with innovative services.” He added, “We are excited to partner with Walmart because of its commitment to creating the best solutions to serve customers with low prices.”

Japan online grocery delivery service
Rakuten and Seiyu GK, a subsidiary of Walmart, have reached a basic agreement to establish a joint venture with the aim of launching a new online grocery delivery service in Japan, to be known as “Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper.” The new service is planned to be launched in the latter half of 2018.

Rakuten and Seiyu will launch a new online grocery delivery service leveraging each of the companies’ strengths to offer a more convenient shopping experience that meets the changing needs of customers in Japan. Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper will aim to increase fulfillment capacity, enrich the merchandise offering and improve convenience for the customer. The service will aim to increase capacity in 2018 with the establishment of a dedicated fulfilment center, in addition to offering deliveries from Seiyu stores.

The new service’s merchandise offering will showcase Seiyu’s twin strengths of “quality” and “low prices.” To serve the needs of customers increasingly short on time for preparation, the service will include not only fresh produce and daily consumables but also a rich lineup of convenient items such as cut vegetables, partially-prepared foods and ready-meal kits, as well as popular local gourmet products from merchants on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace.

Furthermore, the new service will utilize Rakuten’s deep expertise in e-commerce to offer a site with an optimized user experience, as well as leveraging big data and AI to offer a more personalized merchandise offering.

Customers using the new service will enjoy the benefit of being able to earn and use Rakuten Super Points, also allowing them to use their points on more than 70 services within the Rakuten ecosystem.

Rakuten Kobo U.S. eReading Service
As part of this alliance, Walmart will become Rakuten Kobo’s exclusive mass retail partner for the Kobo brand in the U.S., offering Kobo’s nearly six million titles from thousands of publishers and hundreds of thousands of authors to Walmart.com customers. Walmart.com will offer eBooks and audiobooks for sale later this year. Walmart will also sell digital book cards in stores, enabling more than 4,000 stores to carry a broader selection of books for customers.

All eBook content will be accessible through a Walmart/Kobo co-branded app available on all iOS and Android devices, a desktop app and Kobo e-Readers, which will also be sold at Walmart later this year.

“Walmart is one of the top retailers in the world and one of the largest booksellers in the U.S. Our strategy from day one has been to partner with the world’s best retailers, so that they can easily offer their customers the option of reading digitally. This informs the software and devices we create, the books and authors we promote, and also the partnerships we build,” said Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn. “For us, this is another great opportunity to serve book lovers at Walmart, those people who make reading an important part of their lives.”

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, 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. The company’s legal name will become Walmart Inc., effective on Feb. 1, 2018, to reflect its growing status as an omni-channel retailer. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under nearly 59 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 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.

About Rakuten
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 billion members around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten has ranked in the top 30 of Forbes Magazine’s annual “World’s Most Innovative Companies” list. The Rakuten Group has over 14,000 employees, and operations in 29 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

About Seiyu
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, Wal-Mart Stores, 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.

Media Inquiries:
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Media Relations
+1 (479)273-4314
news.walmart.com/reporter

Rakuten, Inc.
Corporate Communications Department
global-pr@mail.rakuten.com
(+81) 50-5817-1104

Seiyu GK
Public Relations
+81-3-3598-7760

Rakuten Kobo Inc.
PR & Communications
kobo-pr@mail.rakuten.com

Source: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart announces shareholder voting results for its Annual Shareholders’ Meeting

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., 2017-Jun-05 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) today (June 2, 2017 ) announced shareholder voting results for its Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. Approximately 92.7 percent of all outstanding shares were present or represented by proxy at the meeting.

The company reported that shareholders approved the election of each of Walmart’s 11 director nominees. Each director nominee received affirmative votes from approximately 94 percent or more of the shares voted, excluding abstentions and broker non-votes, as follows (all percentages are rounded to the nearest 1/100 of 1 percent):

Director Nominee For Against
James I. Cash, Jr. 98.95% 1.05%
Timothy P. Flynn 99.40% 0.60%
Carla A. Harris 98.17% 1.83%
Thomas W. Horton 99.40% 0.60%
Marissa A. Mayer 94.31% 5.69%
C. Douglas McMillon 99.27% 0.73%
Gregory B. Penner 97.16% 2.84%
Steven S Reinemund 94.44% 5.56%
Kevin Y. Systrom 94.45% 5.55%
S. Robson Walton 94.43% 5.57%
Steuart L. Walton 97.48% 2.52%

Shareholders voted on a non-binding advisory resolution to establish the frequency of future advisory shareholder votes to approve the compensation of Walmart’s named executive officers, with approximately 98.74 percent of the shares present in person or represented by proxy voting to hold such future advisory votes annually. The Board of Directors had recommended a frequency of one year.

Shareholders voted to approve, on a non-binding, advisory basis, the compensation of Walmart’s named executive officers described in Walmart’s 2017 proxy statement, with approximately 83.14 percent of the shares present in person or represented by proxy voting in favor of this proposal. The Board of Directors had recommended a vote for this proposal.

Shareholders also ratified the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as Walmart’s independent accountants, with affirmative votes from approximately 99.23 percent of the shares that were present in person or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote.

The Board of Directors had recommended a vote against each of the four shareholder proposals, and each proposal failed to receive affirmative votes from a majority of the total shares that were represented at the meeting and entitled to vote and, accordingly, they did not pass. The approximate percentages of the shares present or represented by proxy at the meeting that were voted in favor of each of the four shareholder proposals are as follows:

  • Request to adopt an independent chairman policy: approximately 15.15 percent of the shares that were present or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote.
  • Shareholder proxy access: the proposal was not formally presented at the meeting. However, the company received proxies representing approximately 26.24 percent of the shares in support of this proposal.
  • Request for independent director with environmental expertise: approximately 2.13 percent of the shares that were present or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote.
  • Request for annual reporting of additional demographic information about full- and part-time associates in the U.S.: less than 0.01 percent of the shares that were present or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote.

The official voting results for each item voted on by shareholders will be disclosed in a report to be filed next week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, 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, over 260 million customers and members visit our 11,723 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 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.

Source: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores CEO Doug McMillon challenged the company’s more than 2 million associates to win the future of retail “one customer at a time.”

Retailer Vows to Win “One Customer at a Time”

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., 2015-6-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — At the company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon challenged the company’s more than 2 million associates to win the future of retail “one customer at a time.” McMillon laid out his strategy.

“We’ll save customers money on their everyday needs with an easy shopping experience powered by people and technology. We’ll offer: Value – everyday low prices. Convenience – we’ll be there when and where they want us. Merchandise – we’ll have the items they want and continue to be great merchants. An easy experience – simple and fun. We’ll win one customer at a time.”

Our Associates are Our Heroes

In front of more than 14,000 associates and shareholders, McMillon reinforced the integral role Walmart associates play in serving customers every day and the company’s commitment to providing opportunities for them to grow and advance their careers.

Referencing the company’s recent announcements on scheduling, pay, benefits and training, McMillon said, “With hard work and determination, you can exceed your highest expectations here. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done this year to demonstrate how we’ve always felt about our own associates, our team.”

He described associates as the company’s heroes: “In our story, the hero is you – our associates. We aren’t more powerful than a locomotive or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. We do have super powers though and they are real. They’re our passion, our commitment to our customers, our caring for one another. Really, our superpowers are those that help us make someone’s day better; their life better.”

Serving Customers in New Ways

McMillon discussed the evolving needs of Walmart customers and how technology is offering new ways to serve them. “We’ve always said we run our business one store a time. That’s still true. But it’s becoming more than that. It’s now one customer at a time. One customer can shop with us in so many different ways – in stores, on their phones, at homes, a pick-up point. But they just think they’re shopping at Walmart, at ASDA, at Sam’s Club.”

He continued, “I want us to stop talking about digital and physical retail as if they’re two separate things. The customer doesn’t think of it that way, and we can’t either. Customers just want us to solve their everyday problems with an easy, seamless shopping experience.”

McMillon said Walmart is uniquely positioned to define the future of retail, “We have strong competitors, but they don’t have what we do. They don’t have you – 2 million associates who want make a difference. Think about the map of our locations. No one else has that incredible network around the world. Now, think about our supply chain and experienced logistics team. I get excited about what our technology team is now capable of. As we add new capabilities and join these unique assets together effectively, we’re going to have something special.”

He added, “We’re approaching this work with both urgency and determination. We’re moving fast to exceed our customers’ expectations, while making purposeful choices that will position us for the long haul. This is a turning point in our story, and the investments we’re making today will set the stage for strong and sustainable growth.”

Making a Difference, Acting with Integrity

McMillon also shared his expectations for Walmart leaders as they work to execute his vision, including acting with integrity, leading on social and environmental issues and making a difference in local communities.

“There’s no business result that’s worth more than your personal integrity or our company’s. We’d rather have a bad financial result than take a shortcut,” he said.

He added, “We want to show that a business can grow in size and reduce its environmental impact at the same time.”

A Focus on Associates

Today’s meeting followed a week of events in Northwest Arkansas that celebrated the company’s associates. The company shared a series of initiatives in its U.S. stores to respond to associate feedback and provide greater career opportunity. The company announced:

  • ·Raising the starting wage for more than 100,000 department managers and specialists;
  • Changes to its dress code;
  • Improvements to the in-store experience for both associates and customers, including the return of Walmart Radio and changes to store temperatures.
  • New technology for all department managers; and
  • New associate badges that read: “Our People Make the Difference.”

For more information or to watch a replay of the shareholders meeting, please visit www.walmartshareholders.com.