Rakuten, Japan’s number one online shopping mall, has arrived in Singapore with a big bang… or rather, a big bag:

To celebrate its launch in Singapore, the e-commerce giant has brought together the best of its Japanese and local merchants’ products in an experiential showcase at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza over three days this weekend, from March 28 – 30. Set against the ultimate icon of shopping – a larger-than-life Rakuten Shopping Bag installation – the event will give members of the public a taste of what Rakuten has to offer on its Singapore e-commerce site.

Launching the celebrations yesterday was Kiren Kumar, Director, Infocomms and Media, Singapore Economic Development Board, together with Shin Hasegawa, Global Vice Chief Marketing Officer, Rakuten and Shingo Okamoto, Head of Singapore e-Commerce Business, Rakuten.

“Rakuten’s Singapore e-Commerce launch and its Asia headquarters here add significantly to the vibrancy of our e-Commerce ecosystem. We are pleased that digital marketplaces like Rakuten continue to leverage Singapore’s talent pool, ICT infrastructure and research capabilities to capture opportunities in the fast growing consumer market in Asia,” said Kiren Kumar, Director, Infocomms & Media, Singapore Economic Development Board. “Singaporeans can look forward to exciting new eCommerce jobs, as well as enjoy a variety of products from both local and regional merchants.”

In Japan, Rakuten is a household name with more than 75 million members using its site to purchase an extensive array of items ranging from fashion to cosmetics, electronics, toys, household goods, food and much more.

The Singapore site currently features 150 Japanese and local merchants with approximately 100,000 products across more than ten categories including fashion, food, health and beauty products, electronics, kids’ and babies’ products, toys and games, livingware, furniture and decoration, books, pet products, and vehicle accessories. Rakuten Singapore aims to acquire 300 merchants by the end of this year.

Japanese tidbits and food stuff

Japanese tidbits and food stuff

Beauty products

Beauty products

Fancy buying Japanese seafood online?

Fancy buying Japanese seafood online?

Japanese liquor and beverages

Japanese liquor and beverages

Japanese chocolate

Japanese chocolate

During the three-day “Rakuten Super Bag” extravaganza (11am – 10pm daily), members of the public can experience the following and more:

  • Japanese culinary demonstrations by celebrities Paul Foster and Keagan Kang (March 28, 6.30pm), Michelle Chia (March 29, 5.30pm) and Wong Lilin (March 30, 2.30pm), together with a chef from merchant Kuriya Fish Market
  • Showcase of more than 300 products from Rakuten’s top merchants:

    • FOOD: A gorgeous array of fresh fruit, premium seafood, sake and delectable sweets and snacks all the way from Japan, from merchants Kuriya Fish Market and more

    • FASHION: The best of Japanese fashion from Rakuten Direct and more

    • HOME & LIVING: Consumer electronics, home furnishing and toys by merchants Parisilk, BLMg and Toys’R’US respectively

  • Stand to win exciting prizes on-site through Facebook and make international free calls with Viber
  • Special discounts on all showcasing products, and more at www.rakuten.com.sg

Mr Okamoto Shingo, Head of Singapore e-Commerce Business, Rakuten said, “One key reason why we chose to start up our Singapore operations was that we saw a tremendous response from Singapore consumers on our global marketplace. We thus wanted to create a Singapore e-marketplace that offers consumers access to high-quality Japanese products that are not readily available elsewhere, with the added benefits of lower shipping rates and shorter delivery times than when purchasing from our global marketplace. Through this event, we hope to introduce the Rakuten brand to even more people in Singapore, and enable more people to experience and enjoy what we have to offer.”

Foodies, shopaholics and fans of Japanese products can also look forward a Rakuten food festival and Rakuten Super Sale – a signature Rakuten online event featuring massive product discounts – later this year. For more information, visit the Rakuten Singapore website.