Saturday, October 12, 2013
Rakuten Targets 1,500 Stores In Brazil Virtual Mall In A Year
SAO PAULO (Nikkei)--Rakuten Inc. (4755) intends to nearly triple to 1,500 the number of stores in its virtual mall in Brazil within the next 12 months.
On a visit to Sao Paulo, Senior Executive Officer Masatada Kobayashi told The Nikkei that the number of stores in the virtual mall has grown to 535 since opening in April 2012. Another 300 vendors have inked contracts and are making preparations to open virtual storefronts. By 2018, the goal is to have 20,000 stores in the online mall.
The company plans to analyze the factors behind the success of popular stores where shoes, furniture and other items are selling well and share that know-how.
Combined sales at the virtual mall are growing at a pace of around 20% a month.
Brazil's e-commerce market reached 22.5 billion reais, or around 1 trillion yen, in 2012, an increase of 20% from 2011, according to market research firm e-bit. It is projected to grow to 28 billion reais this year thanks to expansion of the middle class and progress in building information technology infrastructure.
Rakuten operates virtual malls in 13 countries and regions, including the U.S., France, the U.K., Thailand and Taiwan. Its online mall in Japan has more than 40,000 participating stores.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 12 morning edition)