TOKYO and PARIS, June 16, 2011 -- Rakuten, Inc. (“Rakuten,” Chairman and CEO: Hiroshi Mikitani, Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) and PriceMinister S.A. (“PriceMinister,” Managing Director: Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, Head Office: Paris, France) will provide joint support for Rakuten Ichiba stores entering the French market, as part of the first step toward expanding e-commerce between Japan and France.
Specifically, five stores with proven track records on Rakuten Ichiba – e-zakkamania stores (ladies’ fashion), Kabegamiyahonpo (interior goods), Kimono Kyoukomati (kimono), SILVER BULLET (men’s fashion), and La Berger (aromatherapy lamps) – will be the first Japanese companies to set up shop on Priceminister.com, an EC site managed by PriceMinister, starting June 16. Through the sale of traditional Japanese products and products that reflect the latest Japanese trends to customers in France, each of these stores aims to win over local users interested in Japanese culture.
Rakuten acquired PriceMinister as a subsidiary in 2010 with the intention of expanding its e-commerce business in France and the rest of Europe. Beginning with its support for the entry of the aforementioned Japanese stores into the French market, the Rakuten Group will continue to accelerate the global expansion of its EC business.
Rakuten is also supporting “Cool Japan,” an initiative launched by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry to support the development of overseas markets, with a strong emphasis on the French market. As part of the initiative, Rakuten will join the Japan EXPO to be held in Paris, France starting on 30 June. In addition to the five stores making their debut on Priceminister.com, the Japan EXPO will also feature booths set up in collaboration with nine local governments that were invited to take part by Rakuten, who will showcase the appeal of Japanese products and regional specialties to those attending the event.
Furthermore, a special website will be launched today on Priceminister.com in tandem with Rakuten’s participation in the Japan EXPO, featuring both online and in-person promotional activities.
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer and business-focused services including e-commerce, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal & media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, North and South America, and Western Europe. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com.
Founded in August 2000 by Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, Pierre Krings, Justin Ziegler and Olivier Mathiot, PriceMinister is one of France’s leading e-commerce companies. PriceMinister’s core business is its online marketplace, which boasts 200 million items for sale, 15 million members across Europe, and is trusted by 30,000 professional sellers. In addition to its online marketplace, PriceMinister also offers services in travel, email marketing, and automobile advertising. PriceMinister has been part of the Rakuten Group since June 2010. For more information, please visit www.priceminister.com