Japan’s leading retail and outlet store giant Aeon broke into the growing online e-commerce space by launching its Aeonmall Online service on September 3. The opening is considered one of the first online-commerce platform by any major traditional bricks-and-mortar (Walmart-like) retail stores in Japan.
Aeon began with approximately 140 shops, including Tutuanna, Tokyo Soir, and other premier fashion/apparel brands. Aeon is expected to grow going forward, by leveraging Aeon’s strong presence and brand recognition throughout the country. Aeon is also teaming up with some of the leading media and magazine publishers to penetrate the magazine readers. The first partnership is with Japanese magazine InRed. InRed primarily targets women in late 20s and the 30s and will promote the relationship through a series of articles promoting items and coordination based on fashion items sold online.
Aeonmall Online goes one step farther by linking the new online shopping platform with the in-mall shopping experience. Aeon has a credit card that customers can use within the Aeonmall to receive points and discounts without leaving the shopping experience. Aeon has a traditional presence throughout suburban areas in Japan where the company manages a chain of big retail malls. Launching the new online service, will allow Aeon to target a more urban audience through the Internet. Online retail is nothing new in Japan, but considering Aeon’s position as one of the most dominant retail stores, the impact on the existing fashion/retail business will be telling.