ITOCHU Launches Grocery Shopping Assistance Service via Online Store

September 3, 2012

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”), UNY Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Inazawa-shi, Aichi; Tetsuro Maemura, President; hereinafter “UNY”) and the NTT DOCOMO Tokai Regional Office (located in Nagoya-shi, Aichi; Katsuhiro Nakamura, Managing Executive Officer and President; hereinafter “NTT DOCOMO”) announced today that they will launch a joint project for providing a grocery shopping assistance service via an online store and tablet devices. The project aims to create a service to assist the elderly and other people with difficulties doing daily grocery shopping. It will launch on Friday, September 7, 2012 in the Noseki School District within Minato Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Details are as follows.

Project Objective

In the Noseki School District within Minato Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, the majority of residents reside in large-scale apartment complexes and have a population aging rate*1 of 27.5% (976 people)*2, the second highest rate in the ward. Given this situation, the district has called for a service to assist the elderly and other people with difficulties doing daily grocery shopping. After extensive discussion on how to provide assistance and best address the issue, ITOCHU, together with the Minato-ku Municipal Social Welfare Council in Nagoya City, UNY and NTT DOCOMO, have agreed to launch this project.

  1. The population aging rate is calculated by dividing the population aged 65 and older by the total population of Japan
  2. Data are derived from the Nagoya City statistics (as of August 1, 2012)

Project Overview

Launch date

Friday, September 7, 2012 – orders will be taken from 1:30 p.m.

  • During the service’s first two days of Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8, NTT DOCOMO will hold user workshops on use of the tablet devices and UNY will conduct Style One Kewpie nursing food tasting events.

Nagoya-shi Municipal Inaei-so Assembly Hall (Noseki School District, Minato-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi Prefecture)

Address: 5-chome Noseki, Minato-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi Prefecture

Service procedure

Users will be able to come to the assembly hall twice a week to place orders through the APITA online grocery store run by UNY via tablet devices provided by NTT DOCOMO. Products ordered will be shipped to their place of residence the next day.

ITOCHU will analyze data obtained through this project and use them to examine the potential of a full-fledged service.


Services provided by APITA online grocery store

1) Users can select from about 12,000 products, including fresh foods (vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, etc.), general foods (rice, bread, snack, seasonings, beverages, liquor, etc.), readymade meals, household sundries (detergent, shampoo, tissues, etc.), cosmetics, diapers and pet supplies.
2) Users can also order items featured on the APITA flyer inserted with delivery (with exceptions for some items).
3) An APITA grocery store sales floor clerk picks out the items ordered, checking the freshness and product expiration dates, and then has them packed in three different temperature-range compartments – frozen, refrigerated and room temperature – so that they are delivered fresh to the user.

Flowchart of grocery shopping assistance service


Screen of tablet device (example)


Future Plans

ITOCHU, UNY and NTT DOCOMO will strive to deepen their cooperation with social welfare councils that work to promote community welfare, including efforts to prevent the elderly from being marginalized. In addition to the grocery service, our future initiatives will include confirmation of the safety of users, especially the elderly, at the time of order placement and delivery, and promotion of networking among community residents that gather at the assembly halls.