Rakuten Rebrands U.S. Subsidiary as Rakuten.com Shopping

Rakuten Buy.com Will Continue to Empower Merchants with the Latest Online Tools and Support Under its New Name

NEW YORK and ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – January 10, 2013 -- Rakuten Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), one of the world’s largest e-commerce marketplaces, has officially rebranded its U.S.-based business to Rakuten.com Shopping. Originally known as Buy.com, the site was acquired by Rakuten Inc., in May 2010 and has since undergone a gradual, successful transition that will continue the company’s efforts to empower local shops of all sizes and enhance the consumer experience.

Over the next year, Rakuten.com Shopping will be rolling out a series of innovative e-commerce features for merchants through its “storefront toolkit” that includes video services, social media integrations, live chat and direct email capabilities. A variety of new consumer features will also be implemented to allow for a greater customized user experience and seamless browsing throughout the site.

Mark Kirschner, vice CMO of Rakuten Inc., commented, "Rakuten currently operates e-commerce marketplace businesses in 13 countries and regions around the world. As part of a global marketplace, Rakuten.com Shopping will be an online destination where shoppers can get to know and support the shop owners and brands they love in a discovery-oriented shopping experience."

Roger Andelin, president and CTO of Rakuten.com Shopping, commented, "We've discovered that consumers and merchants alike are looking beyond the typical vending machine approach of e-commerce towards an experience that focuses on quality over quantity and interactive shopping over faceless transactions. We are raising the bar for online shopping and continuously improving to meet the modern shopper's wants and needs."

Rakuten.com Shopping provides a unique BtoBtoC marketplace that is shop-centric, not product-centric. This makes it unlike other CtoC marketplaces as well as different from a traditional BtoC inventory model. The Rakuten.com Shopping “merchant empowerment” model is very unique and difficult to replicate, combining technology and service to offer merchants a number of unique initiatives including:

  • Training through Rakuten University
  • Ongoing insights through E-commerce Consultants (ECCs)
  • Rakuten Expo live events
  • Customizable shops to engage consumers

Rakuten.com Shopping will continue to support U.S. merchants and goods. Over time, the range of products will expand under the rebranding as an international storefront will be made available to all shoppers. The Buy.com brand will continue to offer over 3.2 million products across 15 categories within the Rakuten.com Shopping marketplace.

About Rakuten
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, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. Selected by Forbes as 7th among the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2012, Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

About Rakuten.com Shopping
Rakuten.com Shopping is a global e-commerce site that connects buyers and sellers in a dynamic marketplace and thinks of shopping as entertainment—complete with sharing and discovery functions, great prices, fun experiences and convenience. Rakuten.com Shopping provides over 16 million products in 24 categories and includes a network of over 5,500 small and large business shop owners. Rakuten.com Shopping was founded as Buy.com in 1997 and acquired by Rakuten Inc. in May 2010. Its 175 employees are headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California.

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