Japanese internet mogul Hiroshi Mikitani has apparently set his sights on the UK’s booming etail market with plans to launch his ‘virtual shopping mall’ here next year.

The Rakuten owner wants to attract UK retailers and consumers to the site, which generates leads for partners in return for monthly membership fees and a 2%-5% cut of sales.

Rakuten, according to The Independent, offers consumers a choice of 10m items and generates annual sales of around £3.3bn a year in Japan.

Mikitani told the paper: "Our intention is to launch in the UK by next year."

The plan, he says, will be to initially offer a selection of ‘cult Japanese products’ to UK shoppers, before adding more local goods.

Some expect the site to be marketed as a route to market for smaller etailing players.

The move follows the recent opening of a London office by LinkShare, the US affiliate marketing firm bought by Rakuten for £215m two years ago.


Published 18 June, 2007 by Richard Maven

529 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (0)

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.