The world’s largest e-commerce company Rakuten announced on November 7, 2012 that it has agreed to acquire a leading French e-commerce logistics business – Alpha Direct Services. The recent investment will mark Rakuten’s first logistics investment outside of Japan.
The company also set out to provide business synergies for its global e-commerce market places, in particular Rakuten’s European business, including PriceMinister in France. Alpha Direct Services was founded in the year 2002 and the headquarters is located in Beauvais.
The company is France’s leading e-commerce logistics business with more than 100 merchants, ranging from small businesses to large well known brands like Nestle, Sarenza and L’Oreal. In the past decade, the company has managed to establish a highly effective, full service e-commerce logistics model, encompassing front end websites, order management, fulfillment delivery, customers support and warehousing.
The company also has the potential to scale beyond France and into wider Europe. From the retail service perspective, Rakuten said that the latest acquisition will also allow merchants to capitalize on same-day delivery in Paris and next-day delivery across Europe. Rakuten was founded in the year 1997 as MDM Inc and Rakuten Shopping Mall started its operations in the month of May the same year. In June 1999 it changed its name to Rakuten Inc.