Walmart’s Seiyu in Japan has recorded grocery ecommerce growth of 30% year-on-year in the quarter from October to December 2019, fueled by its new partnership with Japanese ecommerce platform Rakuten, which has been trading under the name of Rakuten Seiyu NetSuper for around one year. The retailer also stated that sales had accelerated further since the beginning of 2020, potentially driven by the coronavirus, with consumers showing a tendency to avoid leaving homes.
The figures are an encouraging signal of food online growth in Japan. Seiyu ventured into the ecommerce market as early as 2000. Although consumers were slow to open up to food ecommerce, data from our Retail Market Monitor shows that by 2019, already 3.4% of chain edible grocery sales were generated online. This share will rise to 4.2% by the end of our forecast period in 2024.
Global CPGs not already doing so should dedicate resources to Japanese ecommerce now, in recognition of the fact that the country now has one of the highest food ecommerce penetration rates worldwide. As Japan combines the world’s second-oldest population with high workforce participation, brands should target opportunities in convenience, health foods and pharma.
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