Walmart is challenging Amazon´s dominance as a retailer of e-books and audiobooks, launching itself into the segment for the first time.
Walmart will partner with Japan firm Rakuten to sell the new products, through a new category on the Walmart.com website.
The deal brings more than six million e-book titles to Walmart.com, from Rakuten´s Toronto-based subsidiary Rakuten Kobo.
Rakuten´s e-books will be available through a smartphone and desktop app.
Walmart will become Rakuten Kobo’s exclusive mass retail partner for the Kobo brand in the US.
Online grocery service
In addition, the agreement will see the launch of a new online grocery delivery service in Japan from the beginning of the 2018 third quarter.
“Rakuten is a strong e-commerce business and we’re excited to collaborate with the top online shopping destination in Japan. We look forward to expanding our grocery footprint in Japan and launching a new offering of eBooks and audiobooks for our customers in the US,” said Wal-Mart Stores chief executive Doug McMillon.
The new online grocery delivery service in Japan will be known as “Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper” through a joint venture between Rakuten and Walmart´s Japanese subsidiary Seiyu.