The new site, which is backed by Partech International and Holtzbrinck Ventures along with its German parent company, brands4friends.de, aims to become a market leader locally by applying the same buying club model that is seeing success in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Brands4friends offers members access to major fashion brands and other goods at hugely discounted prices, driven by the overstock market.
The model also seems to be a good fit for Japan where broadband access and online shopping are well established and in which consumers are “particularly brand and quality-conscious”, says the company.
Armel Cahierre, previously CEO of stock market favorite Paris Miki, the leading optical retailer in Asia, has been appointed as CEO of brands4friends.jp. Both Cahierre, Christian Heitmeyer, founder and CEO of brands4friends.de, and Philippe Collombel from Partech International will join the board of the new venture.
Last month, Brand4friends entered the UK market via its investment in Secretsales, undisclosed but thought to be in the ‘multi-million’ pound region. This followed its expansion into neighboring Austria at the end of last year.
The company also recently appointed ex-VC Olivier Schuepbach as Director of International & Corporate Development to spearhead the Berlin-based startup’s international expansion – today’s announcement suggests he’s been busy at work.