CO-OP’s Convenient Delivery Service
Do you often use online retailers?
We often hear that people who shop online have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Japan's major EC platforms include Rakuten Ichiba (楽天市場), Yahoo Shopping (Yahoo!ショッピング), amazon Japan, etc. These popular platforms have become more convenient year by year as the range of available products expands.
According to the data of 2021's total revenue of e-commerce companies in Japan, each of them increased steadily as below:
Rakuten Ichiba: Approx. 5 trillion JPY 
Yahoo! Shopping: Approx. 2 trillion JPY 
Amazon Japan: Approx. 2.5 trillion JPY 
 Referred from Financial Results Briefing Materials for FY 2021
 Referred from Financial Results Briefing Materials for FY 2021 (Added up with Askul’s B2B revenue)
 Released by Amazon Japan Including AWS
Among those, there is one retail organization that earned a revenue of over 3 trillion JPY in 2021, which is CO-OP.
CO-OP in Japan
1) What Is CO-OP Like in Japan?
CO-OPs in Japan are operated in every town and city under the Japanese Consumers' Cooperative Union. Consumers can purchase CO-OP's items from groceries such as meat, fish, and veggies to daily necessities usually sold at supermarkets or drugstores, and get them delivered to their homes by CO-OP's delivery staff. Chilled/frozen products come in a cooler box.
2) Number of Users
The total membership in Japan is 23 million, which is about 39 percent of Japanese households . The service of CO-OP is available by paying the union fee and becoming a member.
 Referred from General Overview
3) How to Join and Order
Pay the union fee and join the membership of CO-OP.
Some documents can be required for non-Japanese applicants when signing up.
Once you become a member, you will receive a catalogue from CO-OP every week, and be able to purchase various products at relatively cheap prices. You can order by FAX or online.
According to the area, ordered products will be delivered once a week on a specified day. A delivery staff will place the items packed in a box/boxes at the entrance door when nobody is at home.
Pros and Cons of CO-OP in Japan
Here are Japanese CO-OP's pros and cons.
Many kinds of quality meat, fish, veggies rarely seen or difficult to buy online are available
Some items are cheaper than those at supermarkets (depending on the week)
It is fun to have a chance to buy local specialty products every week
Members can order chilled/frozen products with no worries
Ordered products are delivered only once a week
Specifying the delivery date is basically not allowed because it is arranged according to the area
Sometimes there cannot be a space for the delivered food in the fridge when buying a lot
CO-OP's members in Japan use the service like an online supermarket, but the biggest con is that their delivery system is subscription based and the delivery date varies depending on the living area, which is inconvenient if the date is not available.
We Recommend You to Use Like This
Buy Groceries for a Week
The popular way of many of Japanese CO-OP’s members for grocery shopping is to divide the roles of CO-OP and local supermarkets. They use the service to buy groceries for a week and get their needs from CO-OP, and shop items that are running out or in need at the moment at supermarkets in their neighborhood.
Buy Heavy Products
There should be stuff that you want to buy in bulk or need at home such as drinks, rice, liquid seasonings, etc., but that is too heavy to carry by yourself. Those who feel that way use CO-OP to buy such products and get them delivered.
What to Do and Should Be Aware of to Join CO-OP
・Start with requesting information materials on CO-OP's website if you want to know the details including signing up procedure, the delivery date, etc. Type "the name of the area you live in" and "生協:CO-OP" in the search bar, and it will be easier to reach the website of CO-OP in your region.
・Some documents can be required when signing up. Make sure to read the information materials carefully. (Application requirements are a little different depending on each CO-OP.)
Now, ask for information materials and check the delivery date!
Unfortunately, the sad fact is that the service of many CO-OPs in Japan is available only in Japanese, but we hope CO-OP can help make your grocery shopping easier if you sign up.