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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mergers and acquisitionsinternetbusiness issuese-commerceRakutenWebgistix

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?