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

Via Rakuten Media Room

Jun 17, 2019

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 7, 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.​

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