- Following Austrian and UK expansion, Germany’s e-commerce leader enters Japanese market
- brands4friends.jp successfully launched in Tokyo on March 8th
With the aim of sustainably strengthening and accelerating its global growth, brands4friends.de, Germanys leading online shopping club, has expanded into the Japanese market with brands4friends.jp. On March 8th, the web site was officially launched at a press conference in Tokyo. Partech International and Holtzbrinck Ventures join brands4friends.de as investors in brands4friends.jp with the aim of making it Japan’s e-commerce market leader by applying the successful German model, thereby continuing its clear and dynamic growth strategy. The Japanese market is characterized by a well developed IT infrastructure, a high rate of Internet use and online shopping, and above all, consumers who are particularly brand and quality-conscious.
Christian Heitmeyer, CEO and founder of brands4friends.de says “With Armel Cahierre and his team, we will accomplish our ambitious goals and become the Japanese market leader. We think globally and act locally. Our growth strategy of entering the Japanese market following expansion into Austria and the UK is not least due to Japanese consumers’ strong brand awareness and affinity for online shopping. We also anticipate that our concept will be well received in order to enlarge the circle of friends for the brands4friends community.”
Armel Cahierre, founder and CEO of brands4friends.jp: “brands4friends has been able to establish an enduring and overall successful online shopping club concept in Germany. We are familiar with the characteristics of the Japanese market and are relying on a strong local team, but also on the experience and comprehensive expertise of the German team. This will allow brands4friends.jp to tap into the German success story and clearly benefit from it."
With last week´s launch of the brands4friends.jp website, Japanese luxury aficionados and savvy shoppers are able to purchase brand-name goods at lower prices. In keeping with the brands4friends model, however, only brands4friends members have access to the time and quantity-limited supply of brand-name goods. The range of products are similar to that of brands4friends in Germany and Secret Sales in U.K.: fashion and lifestyle products, lingerie, children’s clothing and toys, as well as electronics and home décor products.
Christian Heitmeyer, founder and CEO of brands4friends.de, Philippe Collombel from Partech International and Armel Cahierre, French founder and CEO of brands4friends.jp, are be members of the board of directors. Cahierre was previously CEO of stock market favorite Paris Miki, the leading optical retailer in Asia. Partech International and Holtzbrinck Ventures, both co-investors in brands4friends.jp, are also stakeholders in brands4friends.de.
brands4friends.de is Germany’s largest online shopping club with currently more than 2.5 million registered club members, who are on average 32 years old. Two years after launching, brands4friends.de is one of the fastest growing e-commerce communities worldwide with up to 10,000 new members daily and also live in Austria and the U.K. About 50 percent of new members are gained through viral recommendation methods. brands4friends.de sells high-quality goods from renowned fashion and lifestyle brands exclusively to its members at significantly reduced prices. brands4friends.de offers on a daily basis limited special offers for high-quality products from more than 400 brands, representing both overstocks from current collections as well as "off season" goods and special collections. brands4friends.de went online in September 2007 and currently employs 200 people at their headquarters in the center of Berlin. brands4friends.de went online in September 2007 and currently employs 200 people at its headquarters in the center of Berlin.
The company was founded by Managing Directors Christian Heitmeyer (CEO) and Constantin Bisanz, as well as by Nicolas Speeck and Mario Zimmermann. Partech International, Mangrove Capital Partners, Holtzbrinck Ventures rank among their investors.
The business, operated by Private Sales GmbH, was awarded the Vision Award in conjunction with the “Visions: People. Media. Marketing.” Congress and the Innovation Prize "Online Shop of the Year 2008" by the jury of the Mailorder Company Congress. The founders of brands4friends.de were awarded the German Entrepreneur Prize in November 2008, offered by the Harvard Business School Association of Germany e.V. Most recently, brands4friends.de was named the “Best Website of the Year” in the online shopping category by Metrix Lab.