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June 7, 2016
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Reviews Operations to Ensure
European Business is Future Fit

• Rakuten announces plans to focus investment on France and Germany and restructure e-commerce marketplace operations in UK, Spain and Austria
• Rakuten continues to have a strong presence across Europe

London, June 7, 2016 - Following a strategic review of its operations in Europe, Rakuten announced today a plan to restructure some of its existing operations to ensure it is fit to capitalise on future opportunities in the region.

Rakuten will focus its e-commerce marketplace investment in France and Germany as the businesses there have the scale and potential for sustainable growth. However, in UK and Spain, the cost of growth relative to the size of the businesses has led to plans to close these operations.

Rakuten has started to talk with employees around the following plans related to the European e-commerce marketplaces and office operations:

・Closure of Rakuten UK marketplace (www.rakuten.co.uk) and its Cambridge operations, as well as Rakuten Spain marketplace (www.rakuten.es) and its Barcelona operations.
・Provision of services to Austrian merchants and customers from the German operations base (www.rakuten.de), due to closure of the dedicated marketplace and operations in Vienna, Austria (www.rakuten.at)

Rakuten anticipates that the marketplace closures will take place by the end of August, subject to completion of the consultation process with impacted employees in relevant jurisdictions, as well as other legal processes.

Timely information and support will be provided to merchants and customers to ensure that all transactions on current sites can be fully completed.

Rakuten will continue to evolve the e-commerce business model in countries across Europe, including initiatives such as the launch of a new Price Club to enhance membership loyalty in France and Rakuten Pro in Germany, a low-commission model for merchants aimed at enhancing service quality. Rakuten will also continue to grow its presence in Europe across its diverse business portfolio, from e-commerce to digital content businesses such as Wuaki and Kobo, to the Viber messaging platform and the adtech business Rakuten Marketing.

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