Rakuten and Seiyu launching drone delivery service in Sarushima

Date : 18 June 2019

Rakuten and Seiyu will deliver products from the Seiyu LIVIN Yokosuka Store in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, to visitors in Sarushima via drones.

Drone service to launch on 4 July 2019

Starting on 4 July 2019, the new initiative will service Sarushima, a popular sightseeing destination and the only uninhabited island in Tokyo Bay. It will run for around three months, and Rakuten Drones will ground at a landing port built on Sarushima. To use the service, visitors will need to download the Rakuten Drone app onto their smartphone and place orders through the app. 

A range of approx. 400 products will be available to order, including fresh produce for barbecues, beverages and first-aid products. This will be supplied by the Seiyu LIVIN Yokosuka Store located on the shore opposite the island.

Our view

The service, once in operation, will also provide invaluable knowledge on the capabilities of drone deliveries for disaster relief, how to support people with limited access to shopping in certain areas of Yokosuka and whether it can be rolled out to other regions. This is not the first time Rakuten has turned to drones for delivery solutions in Japan. It has been offering the service since 2016, and signed an agreement with JD.com to strengthen last-mile delivery earlier this year.

Accelerating innovation to drive convenience

Rakuten’s ??Managing Executive Officer, Koji Ando, said, “We are very happy to expand our collaboration with Seiyu on Rakuten Ichiba and Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper to include the field of drone logistics […] 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."

Strengthening existing partnership

Seiyu’s Executive Senior Vice President of EC Division, Tamae Takeda, 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."