ITOCHU Announces Conclusion of Capital and Business Alliance with B4F Co., Ltd.
April 12, 2019
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has decided to conclude a capital and business alliance with B4F Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Armel Cahierre, CEO; hereinafter “B4F”), which operates the members only online boutique MILLEPORTE.
B4F was established in 2010 to operate BRANDS for FRIENDS, a members only online boutique that was launched in Berlin, Germany in 2007, in the Japanese market. In 2014, B4F changed the site’s name to MILLEPORTE, which means a thousand doors in French, with a view to future business expansion. The company currently handles a wide range of lifestyle goods including fashion, interior goods, food products and household appliances, and has grown into one of Japan’s most prominent members only brand e-commerce sites.
ITOCHU is working toward expansion of the e-commerce business in its brand business and entry into new distribution channels as part of the “Reinvented Business,” which is a basic policy under the medium-term management plan “Brand-new Deal 2020.” B4F is expanding its operations in the e-commerce site business, including launching new services that draw on knowhow built up through MILLEPORTE, and ITOCHU decided to conclude this latest agreement because the creation of various synergies can be expected through collaboration with B4F.
ITOCHU and B4F will combine their extensive experience and knowhow in the brand business and e-commerce site operation business and seek to diversify the brand e-commerce business. Ahead of this latest alliance, CI Shopping Service Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “CiSS”), a subsidiary of ITOCHU which plans and runs family sales of lifestyle goods for ITOCHU Group employees and various brand events, and B4F concluded a business alliance agreement, and they also launched initiatives to develop CiSS as an omnichannel. In the future, ITOCHU and B4F will continue aiming for the creation of customer value and the expansion of synergies from their alliance through maximum utilization of each other’s strengths.