Shibuya109 eyes bigger reach through partnership with South Korea e-commerce site Cafe24

Nna, Kyodo

The operator of South Korea’s cross-border, multilingual e-commerce platform Cafe24 and Tokyo’s Shibuya109 shopping mall have joined forces to invigorate global clothing exports of the two countries’ fashion brands.

Cafe24 Corp. said it signed a memorandum of understanding in Seoul on Monday to partner with Shibuya109 Entertainment Corp., helping South Korean brands gain a foothold in Japan while assisting Japanese businesses in tapping overseas markets.

Shibuya109 Entertainment will open a pop-up store on its Imada Market website and at its brick and mortar store sometime this year that will promote Korean fashion brands through the Cafe24 platform.

Cafe 24, which has helped businesses open stores in seven languages, including English and Japanese, will make it easier for Japanese fashion brands to explore overseas markets. It will receive fees for services such as marketing and shipping.

“Shibuya109 will work to build a lasting relationship of trust with Cafe24 in order to help Japanese brands go global through Cafe24’s platform,” Shibuya 109 President Tomoo Kimura said in a statement.

The South Korean e-commerce site operator has boosted the recognition of Korean fashion brands overseas such as women’s clothing company Hotping, which recorded 5 billion won ($4.4 million) in sales on its Japanese site in 2017, its third year of operation in the country.

Cafe24, founded in 1999, was listed in February on the Kosdaq, a Korean bourse similar to the U.S.’s Nasdaq, forecasting a 26 billion won in operating profit on sales of 180 billion won this year.

“We have succeeded in lowering the entry barrier for entrepreneurs. It was well received by investors,” Cafe24 CEO Lee Jaesuk said in a recent interview.

It has expanded partnerships with foreign e-commerce sites such as Rakuten, U.S.-based Amazon.com, China’s Tmall.com and Japan’s Rakuten. It has also teamed up with high-tech giants including Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and China’s Baidu Inc. for marketing as well as Paypal Holdings Inc.