Rakuten to Conditionally Scrap Delivery Fees at All Shops

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--Rakuten Inc. <4755> plans to scrap delivery fees for items purchased at any of the tenant shops operating at its Rakuten Ichiba cybermall on condition that the value of shopping exceeds a certain level, its president and chairman, Hiroshi Mikitani, has said.

The major Japanese online shopping mall operator plans to decide a specific threshold by the end of this year. "This is the last and biggest challenge," Mikitani said during a lecture in Tokyo on Wednesday, seeking cooperation from tenants.

As the free-of-charge delivery may increase tenants' burdens, Rakuten will consider providing financial support to help them cover the additional costs, Mikitani indicated.

Some 46,000 shops are operating at Rakuten Ichiba while delivery fees are decided by each shop. Conditions for making deliveries free of charge differ from shop to shop.

Customers claim that the system is complicated and hard to understand compared with, for example, the system of e-commerce giant Amazon.com, which does not charge customers delivery fees for shopping worth 2,000 yen or more, according to Mikitani.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press