Retail giant Seven & I Holdings Co. next year will start providing same-day delivery of products sold online by its group stores, a source close to the matter said Wednesday.
The operator of the Ito-Yokado supermarket chain as well as Seibu and Sogo department stores will start the service in Tokyo and surrounding areas, with about 3 million products on offer.
Shipping will be free if customers receive the products at the group’s Seven-Eleven convenience stores, the source said.
The company will use its distribution base in Saitama Prefecture to deliver goods to some 7,000 Seven-Eleven stores or households in the Tokyo area.
It will eventually expand the service area using the distribution bases in Fukui and Mie prefectures operated by Nissen Holding Co., a mail-order company that Seven & I purchased earlier this year.
The move is in response to fierce competition in the retail and distribution businesses, where online retailers such as Amazon Japan K.K. and Rakuten Inc. have stepped up efforts to improve their delivery systems.
In a related move, Fast Retailing Co., operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, said this month that it will provide same-day delivery of products in Japan by cooperating with Daiwa House Industry Co. Their joint venture will aim to develop an advanced warehouse and distribution system.