Magazines Archives - 2010 July

Japanese Rakuten embarks on global e-commerce expansion
Story 8 - E-commerce

TOKYO-BASED e-tailer, Rakuten Inc, has kicked off its global expansion this year by acquiring two overseas e- commerce sites in the US and Europe.

The company revealed in May that it has reached an agreement with USbased online retailer, Inc, to buy over the company for approximately US$250 million.

Said Hiroshi Mikitani, founder, chairman and CEO of Rakuten: “As we evaluated how to accelerate our global expansion, it became clear that a partnership with made perfect sense.”

Rakuten, which operates the shopping and entertainment portal, Rakuten Ichiba, first set foot into the US market with its acquisition of performance marketing company, LinkShare, in 2005 for US$425 million. As it looks to accelerate its global growth, Mikitani added that “shares our vision for the future of e-commerce — as a platform to give consumers the best value no matter their location, and to merge shopping with entertainment”.

The US e-tailer, which has over 14 million customers at its site, revealed that it incorporates enhanced shopping features like BuyTV, allowing shoppers to watch product reviews and learn more about the products they want to buy beforehand. Neel Grover, CEO and president of, also affirmed the company’s mission to develop a “destination site” that features “the best of online shopping”.

According to Rakuten, it will merge with its US subsidiary, Merger Sub, to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese company.

The company also revealed last month that it will expand its reach in Europe, with the acquisition of French e-commerce company, PriceMinister SA, for €200 million (US$247.7 million) by July. Said PriceMinister’s founder, chairman and CEO, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet: “[As] a world expert in the B2B2C (business-to-business-tocustomer) marketplace business model, [Rakuten] will help us introduce innovative tools tailored to meet a variety of needs of corporate sellers throughout Europe.”

In Asia, Rakuten has also entered into a joint-venture arrangement with Indonesian media group, PT Global Mediacom Tbk, to operate an online shopping mall in the country, taking up a 51% stake in the venture with an investment of ¥384 million (US$4.2 million). ra


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2010 July Stories:

Luxury goods are back in fashion - Part 2: Asia’s affluent fuel growth potential and outlook for Asian top-end retailing

NRA Show 2010 sees renewed growth as recession wanes

Top retailers keep up sales growth despite challenging times

Signs of recovery in the global retail sector

Visa card spend in Asia-Pacific crosses US$1-trillion milestone

India’s food retailing opens new opportunities to foreign players

China, Japan among top 10 retail destinations in Asia, says CBRE report

Japanese Rakuten embarks on global e-commerce expansion

3M’s new multi-touch display brings touch technology to new heights

JCube to launch in 2012

TNT revs up its Asian network operations

18th edition of FHT2010 ‘firmly scheduled’ to take place this September

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