Marubeni announced on May 14 that it has started discussions with Kodansha, Shueisha, and Shogakukan to establish a new company within 2021 with the aim of reforming Japanese publishing distribution to a sustainable one by utilizing DX. ..

Publishing sales in 2020 were 1,616.8 billion yen, the second consecutive year-on-year increase. However, in recent years, the publishing world has continued to face multiple structural issues, and there is an urgent need to improve them.

Marubeni has been dealing with the publishing world, including three publishers, for many years, building relationships of trust and reforming supply chains in other industries. Utilizing all of these achievements, in response to requests from three publishers, we plan to establish a new company and start some new initiatives with these three companies as partners in order to solve problems in publishing distribution. That’s right.

As the main efforts of the new company to utilize DX, we will promote “business efficiency improvement business by utilizing AI” and “RFID (radio frequency identifier) ​​utilization business”.

In the business efficiency improvement business by utilizing AI, we comprehensively grasp the flow of distribution information of books and magazines, and by utilizing AI, we realize optimization of the entire publication distribution including distribution and issuance, and return books. We will reduce the economic loss related to such issues and contribute to the sustainable growth of the entire publishing world.

In the RFID utilization business, RFID, which has been proven to be very effective in the apparel distribution industry and library industry, uses various information embedded in so-called IC tags to manage inventory and sales conditions, improve inventory efficiency, and books in the sales floor. Consider building and operating the system, including recommended services and shoplifting prevention. In addition, the RFID system will improve the accuracy of “optimization” of the business efficiency improvement business mechanism by utilizing AI.

Through these efforts, we will not only solve the problems in the publishing world, but also promote the reduction of environmental load by optimizing the delivery volume of books and magazines, the reduction of resource loss by improving the return rate, climate change countermeasures, and eventually. Contribute to the creation of a sustainable society.

Marubeni and the three publishers want as many bookstores, distributors and publishers as possible to take advantage of the new services offered by the new company. We are confident that by widely sharing the profits generated by the new service with related companies in the industry, the results will benefit as many bookstores as possible, as many publishers as possible, and readers. That is.