Shueisha is one of Japan‘s biggest magazine publishers, but was relatively slow to start exploiting its brands and readership through e-commerce. It acquired a business from Jupiter Shop Channel in 2013 to catch up and as a result saw sales jump 30% in 2014.
Fashion magazine publisher Shueisha is seeing significant growth in its e-commerce division. The division is centred on its online fashion store, Flagshop (flagshop.jp) and its fashion catalogues, Flagshop, Eclat Premium, Lee Marche, and the designer brand focused Mirabella catalogue and online store. Shueisha saw e-commerce sales rise 30% last year to ¥4.5 billion. This year it forecasts sales for Mirabella alone of ¥1 billion, up 20%.
Shueisha‘s ambitions in the fashion e-commerce market became clear when it acquired Mirabella from TV shopping firm Jupiter in 2013 in order to beef up Flagshop. At the time it was just selling accessories and apparel under brand names derived from Shueisha‘s most popular fashion magazines such as Baila, More, Lee and Spur. Shueisha has used the Mirabella brand to spearhead a move into the online market for higher end brands with Mirabella itself as a designer‘s select shop. Last year it launched a new men‘s fashion arm called Mirabella Homme, selling brands like Marc Jacobs and Acne Studios.
Shueisha also began opening pop up stores to promote its brands. In 2013 it operated a pop up store called Marunouchi Leading Style in Kitte SC and another in Isetan Shinjuku called By Baila. In 2014 Shueisha launched its first stand alone brand called Suadeo aimed at Flagshop‘s core target of 30s women.
In the last year, Flagshop has added around 10,000-15,000 new customers per month, hitting 550,000 members at the end of 2014. It has also set up LINE accounts for key magazines like More to drive traffic to the online store through coupons, offers and gifts. It is working to link its print media with e-commerce too, inserting ¥1,000 discount coupons in many of the magazine titles, but only those sold through bookstores within department stores. To build its brand base, last year Shueisha tied with World to create jointly developed brands. JC
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