Michael Tamblyn, President and CEO, Rakuten Kobo
As an avid book lover, I couldn’t be more excited about the new digital book options now available through Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo. As we begin this new partnership, I wanted to share a little about who we are.
Rakuten Kobo was created in 2009 to empower booklovers to read more by delivering the best digital reading experience possible. We began internationally where we built everything – infrastructure, apps, payment processing, e-commerce stack – knowing we would be operating in multiple countries, in multiple currencies and in multiple languages. This enabled us to quickly expand all over the world. Today, we deliver content in 190 countries and have localized online stores in 24 of those countries.
Although we are a company that focuses on selling a digital product, retailers and store experiences have always been an important part of the mix in every country we operate in. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Walmart as we grow in the U.S. market. Together, we can provide even more people with a great reading experience, whether that’s print, digital or both.
I say both because we know that digital vs. print isn’t “either or.” Today, about one in four books sold in the U.S. is an eBook and in some categories like romance, mystery or fantasy, it’s more like one in two or three. Our best eBook customers tell us they also buy a dozen or more print books a year, as well as digital audiobooks.
We are a company devoted to reading, and we’re looking forward to getting to know Walmart customers who already turn to Walmart for great books at great prices. With our catalog of more than six million books, we know you’ll always find something great to read.
For more details about the Walmart experience, please see the blog below by Mario Pacini, General Manager, Entertainment, Walmart eCommerce U.S.: