Japan's Rakuten continues Amazon pursuit, will buy US logistics firm

Japan's largest online retailer said it will acquire Webgistix, an online third-party shipping service for retailers

Rakuten, Japan's largest online retailer, is acquiring a U.S. logistics firm as it continues to build out its infrastructure to compete with foreign rivals like Amazon.com.

The company said Thursday it will acquire Webgistix, which provides warehouse and shipping services to online retailers. Webgistix says it can provide 1-2 day shipping for customers from its U.S. facilities in New York, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Reno.

The acquisition fits with Rakuten's larger strategy of operating a giant online shopping mall for merchants, as opposed to selling directly to customers. Earlier this year, Rakuten converted U.S. site Buy.com, which it acquired in 2010, over to its model. Buy.com now redirects to rakuten.com, and it has become one of thousands of online retailers on Rakuten.

Webgistix will help Rakuten offer its online retailers, many too small to have their own infrastructure, the ability to ship quickly to customers. Webgistix has marketed itself as a way for smaller retailers to compete with Amazon without selling their products through the site.

"Webgistix believes that its suite of solutions provides retailers with an equivalent of Amazon Prime service while maintaining their independence and brand experience," the company said earlier this year in a news release.

Retailers ship their goods to Webgistix ahead of time, then integrate their e-commerce systems so purchases are shipped quickly after payment. Webgistix was formed in 2001 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The companies did not disclose a selling price.

Rakuten made a similar purchase last year in Europe, when it bought French logistics firm Alpha Direct Service, or ADS. The company, now a Rakuten subsidiary, operates two large shipping centers near Paris.

A household name in Japan, Rakuten counts about 60 percent of the population as members, and is aggressively expanding abroad. Along with Buy.com in the U.S., Rakuten has acquired Ikeda in Brazil, Tradoria in Germany, and Play.com in the U.K. in recent years.

The Japanese firm openly refers to Amazon.com as its main competition. Although the company mainly stays away from selling products directly to customers, it is rapidly expanding its Kobo e-reader business at home to compete with Amazon's Kindle.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuese-commerceRakutenWebgistixinternetMergers and acquisitions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?