News Release Yahoo Japan and Lawson Form Business Alliances

NEWS RELEASE

TOKYO, JAPAN, 6 09, 2011

Yahoo Japan Corporation
LAWSON, INC.

After studying potential new advantages in serving both companies' customers, that could leverage advantages of the Internet platforms and the stores, since the end of 2010, Lawson, Inc. and Yahoo Japan Corporation have agreed to form business alliances.

Yahoo Japan attracts about 52.3 million unique customer* accesses per month and offers optimal Internet services to PCs as well as mobile phones, smartphones, TVs, and other devices. A recent example of growth of its popularity is a 17-fold increase in the number of page views of Yahoo! JAPAN top page by smartphone users (compared to December 2009.)

* The access number from home or office in April 2011, based on data from Nielsen Online "NetView."

Lawson operates approximately 10,000 convenience stores nationwide in Japan. Being a member of a multi-partner shopping points program, Ponta, with about 32 million members, Lawson analyzes customers' purchase data to better provide products that satisfy customer needs.

Yahoo Japan and Lawson, desiring to use each company's information and platform to support a more convenient lifestyle for their customers, have planned business alliances as follows.

Background and Outline
High penetration of smartphones and tablet PCs has been exponentially increasing the amount of information in people's daily life and has made it more complex. With popularity of those devices, location-based services and applications have become increasingly popular and are changing where and how consumers shop as well as changing channels for the supply of products and services.

Yahoo Japan and Lawson will collaborate in an online shopping mall, analysis of customer purchase records, and joint supply of location-based information and stores, with an ultimate aim in establishing infrastructure for information and offering services that can be customized to each user. Web services have intrinsic advantages in information supply and use, while convenience stores have consumer value in their large number, locations, hours open, and range of actual products. By combining these two, the companies will help customers to more easily buy whatever they want, whenever and wherever they need .

Specific Plans
Yahoo! JAPAN and Lawson will jointly develop the following services by using their platform know-how and membership base.
 1.Collaboration of Yahoo! JAPAN Internet services and Lawson stores
 2.Collaboration in a joint shopping website using both companies' platform know-how
 3.Developing an application for smartphone users
 4.Releasing information of interests


1.Collaboration of Yahoo! JAPAN Internet services and Lawson stores

[A joint service using Yahoo! Local , a location-based information service:
To be implemented progressively from June 2011]

Yahoo! Local is Japan's biggest location-based service, which enables digital device users to obtain street maps and many kinds of information, such as locations of stores and facilities. Lawson Group stores will be indicated and easily found on the Yahoo! Local maps. In addition, useful and appealing information will be provided to direct customers to nearby Lawson stores.

[Sales of popular Yahoo! Shopping items at Natural Lawson stores:
First series in August 2011]

Hit items from the stores on the Yahoo! Shopping website will be sold at Lawson stores, and this new availability will be announced on the Yahoo! Shopping website. Thus, consumers will be able to buy highly popular items more conveniently than in the past. This service will start at Natural Lawson stores, with sales of products made in the Tohoku region as the first series. A portion of revenues will be donated through NPOs or other organizations to support reconstruction of the areas damaged by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

[Providing of purchase data to Yahoo! Shopping online stores:
Launch date to be determined]

By using Lawson's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that enables verification of purchase records and other information, purchase-related data will be provided to online stores of Yahoo! Shopping.


2. Collaboration in a joint shopping website using both companies' platform know-how

[Joint e-commerce shopping website]
Roughly 50 million items from about 20,000 Yahoo! Shopping online stores will become available for purchase by shoppers at Lawson's online mall, Loppi.** Members of the Ponta loyalty reward program can acquire points with their purchases (in the first half of 2012, from a time to be decided, use of points will become possible). Ponta members will receive information on special prices and other opportunities from the online mall Loppi. In the future, a log-in to the Loppi with Yahoo! JAPAN ID may become possible.

**"Loppi" is an acronym for "Lawson Online Shopping." It used to mean multimedia terminals at stores but now indicates Lawson's overall e-commerce services, as the company is making full-scale entry into the e-commerce business. Lawson plans to expand its business from online shopping services by use of store terminals to full-scale e-commerce services.

[Lawson's purchasing experts select items.]
Lawson's experts in product purchasing are renowned for their product knowledge and evaluating skills in the convenience store industry where it is said that the most severe quality standards in Japan are maintained. These professionals will identify items, mainly food products, which also meet quality standards for online shopping, for sale through Lawson's online mall Loppi. Lawson will launch a new assurance and guarantee system that allows return of the product in case of a defect.


3. Collaboration in developing an application for smartphones

Plan to be available from December 2011
With an aim to promote services offered by both companies, a proprietary smartphone application will be developed and become available for free. Time- or place-limited special offers and other information will be released to smartphone users who download the application.


4. Collaboration in releasing information of interests

Start in spring of 2012
Information that is personalized to match the interests of each customer, campaign notices, and other information of potentially high value to customers will be sent to their smartphone handset or via e-mail, subsequent to customer approval, by using their Yahoo! JAPAN ID-based record (i.e., browsing, search, product purchase) or their purchase record as a Ponta member.

Yahoo Japan Corporation has its head office in Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO is Masahiro Inoue.
LAWSON, Inc. is based in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO, Takeshi Niinami.

For inquiries, please contact

  • Yahoo Japan Corporation: Sato, Yasuda, and Kaminaga, Public Relations Office
  • TEL:03-6440-6103  FAX:03-6440-6235
  • Email:ycompany-pr@mail.yahoo.co.jp
  • LAWSON, Inc.: Public Relations
  • TEL:03-5435-2773  FAX:03-5759-6909

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