TOKYO -- With the need for many postal services being rendered obsolete by the omnipresent Internet, Japan Post aims to stay relevant by launching a fulfillment service for online retailing as early as this fall.
With Yamato Holdings, Amazon Japan, Rakuten and others already providing similar services, Japan Post's entry will likely heat up the competition.
The service provided by the Japan Post Holdings unit will handle everything from website creation, order processing, inventory management, packaging and shipments to payment collection. The company plans to expand its warehouse space roughly sevenfold to some 130,000 sq. meters by the end of fiscal 2016, and set up a subsidiary for payment collection.
In providing the service, Japan Post seeks to take advantage of its nationwide network of around 20,000 post offices for advertisements and other purposes. It hopes to help small and midsize businesses select regional merchandise for sale online, and offer marketing services based on consumer trends. It will also set up call centers to handle customer complaints and inquiries.
The e-commerce market reached 11.5 trillion yen ($111 billion) in fiscal 2013, according to Nomura Research Institute. The figure is seen growing to 20.8 trillion yen in fiscal 2018.
Japan Post Holdings is slated to go public in 2015.