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Rakuten’s expanding footprint reaches America

Online marketplace Rakuten Inc. has acquired Webgistix, a Las Vegas-based logistics and services company specializing in cloud-based fulfillment technology for e-commerce retailers. The acquisition is Rakuten’s second logistics investment outside of Japan and its first in the Americas. 

Founded in 2001 in Palo Alto, Calif., Webgistix enables e-commerce retailers to leverage Webgistix’s SmartSuite of e-commerce solutions to fulfill orders, manage freights and optimize shipments. Throughout the past 12 years, Webgistix has built a customer base that spans five continents and more than 20 countries through its strategic network of company-operated fulfillment centers. This allows e-commerce retailers to reach 98% of customers in the U.S. within 1-2 business days via ground delivery.

In August 2012, Rakuten Logistics began offering Rakuten Ichiba Merchants “Rakuten Super Logistics” — integrated fulfillment service solutions, incoming/outgoing inventory management, storage, packaging, delivery, customer service and various other value-added services. November 2012 saw Rakuten announce the acquisition of Alpha Direct Services, a major French warehouse automation and logistics provider, with the goal of building out the company’s e-commerce logistics capabilities across Europe and Japan, and eventually to all its markets globally. 

“Every step of the customer path to purchase is important, especially when the process takes place electronically,” said Rakuten chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. “Webgistix ensures that fulfillment processes are carried out successfully at the most pivotal point of each e-commerce order, where digital services meet physical services. The experienced management team at Webgistix provides entrepreneurial leadership at the foundation of a growing Americas logistics operation, one that will benefit and support our current and future e-commerce marketplace customers in the Americas, and throughout the world.”

“Our core values have always reflected our belief in providing the highest level of service, technology and partnership,” said Webgistix founder and CEO Joseph DiSorbo. “This fits perfectly with the Rakuten model of empowerment. Now Webgistix and Rakuten together will expand our capabilities to provide exceptional service to merchants and consumers, empowering and helping them to achieve their goals. Together we can help online merchants realize their global potential.”

Rakuten now offers e-commerce and Internet services in more than 25 countries. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world's largest by sales. Its global presence has been reinforced through the acquisitions of leading online marketplaces Buy.com in U.S. (now Rakuten.com), Priceminister (France), Ikeda (now Rakuten Brazil), Tradoria (now Rakuten Deutschland) and Play.com (UK), and investments in Ozon.ru, AHA Life and The Grommet.  

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