TOKYO: 19 September, 2002: Virgin Megastores Japan and Amazon.co.jp announced the launch of Virginmega.co.jp powered by Amazon.co.jp
(http://www.virginmega.co.jp/). The new site will bring together Virgin's strong brand as an entertainment product retailer and Amazon's best-of-breed e-commerce platform.
Customers of Virginmega.co.jp will benefit from the product selection of more than 4 million Japanese and foreign language titles including CDs, books, videos, DVDs, software, and video games. Customers can also enjoy unique services such as editorial reviews, personalization features, recommendations, 1-Click ordering, and other key site features. Transactions via the site will be managed by Amazon.co.jp, which is responsible for stocking, selling, delivering the products and providing all customer service. The new site offers free shipping within Japan for purchases of 1,500 yen and above. Cash on delivery is also available to customers.
Virgin Megastores Japan will meet varying customer needs and lifestyles by enhancing its 24-7 service, and offering customers the best shopping experience with a wide selection of not only CDs and DVDs, but books and games as well. Additionally, Virgin Megastores Japan will extend its Virgin Stamp Card program to online customers, in an effort to synergize its offline and online services.
Virgin Megastores Japan will promote the new site to its customers through various marketing channels. Furthermore, Virgin Megastores Japan will actively access the 30-million strong customer base within the Virgin group of companies to promote the site, through various email newsletters and advertisements at the 7-theater/72-screen Virgin Cinema chain. Virgin Megastores Japan will conduct a prize-winning promotion as a store opening campaign (see appendix for details).
Harry Cheng, Senior Commercial Manager, Virgin Megastores Japan, stated “We are thrilled with the opportunity to operate the first-ever mirror site with Amazon for customers in Japan. I am confident that offering our customers wide selections of CDs, DVDs, books, software and TV games using the world's best e-commerce platform will help us offer the best in customer experience.”
Jasper Cheung, Country Manager, Amazon Japan, also commented “Amazon.co.jp is committed to providing customers with the best possible shopping experience, and we are delighted to build and manage the new site of Virgin Megastores Japan.”
Similar “trusted partner” alliances have been operated by Amazon globally, such as Borders in the United States teamed with Amazon.com
(www.borders.com) and Waterstone's in the United Kingdom working with Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com announced an alliance with Virginmega.com on June 24, 2002. Please refer to the separate press release for the further details.
About the Virgin Group
Virgin now has over 100 companies operating in 23 countries, but the first company to use the Virgin name was a small mail order record retailer that operated above a shoe shop on the site that is now Britain's premier music store on Oxford Street, London. The group has a diverse range of interests that include Britain's second largest airline, a record company, publishing interests, financial services, soft drinks, and even a bridal company. The company philosophy is to challenge traditional businesses that have had dominant market players and to have success doing it.
Virgin group companies
Virgin Atlantic Airways (http://www.virginatlantic.co.jp/)
Virgin Cinemas Japan (http://www.virgincinemas.co.jp/)
V2 Records Japan (http://www.v2records.co.jp/)
Virgin Megastores Japan (http://www.virginmega.co.jp/)
About Virgin Megastores Japan Limited
In 1990 Marui and the Virgin Entertainment Group formed a 50:50 joint venture, Virgin Megastores Japan Limited. The company's goal is to open high quality entertainment software stores throughout Japan. The first Virgin Megastore opened in Shinjuku in September 1990. Shortly thereafter, the network expanded from Sapporo in the north to Fukuoka in the south and points in between. Located on popular streets in major metropolitan areas, the store quickly became a hit with music fans. Following the extension of the Megastores concept came medium scale "Virgin" stores which allowed flexibility in meeting local zoning and needs for the specific market.
Amazon.co.jp opened its virtual doors in November 2000, and strives to be the world's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online. Amazon.co.jp today offers millions of Japanese and foreign language titles, videos, DVDs, software titles, PC & video games. Through Amazon Anywhere™, Amazon's leading mobile commerce platform, Amazon.co.jp is also accessible via i-mode and EZweb wireless devices at
http://amazon.co.jp. Amazon.co.jp customers enjoy the benefits of industry-leading, online shopping technology such as secure credit-card payment; COD payment; personalised recommendations; streamlined, 1-Click® ordering.
Amazon.co.jp is one of five internationally focused websites operated by Amazon.com, a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle USA; the others are the French-language site Amazon.fr, the German-language site Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca.
Appendix : Prize-winning promotion
Open Sweepstakes: Subscribe to Virgin Mega email list and win round-trip tickets for Virgin Atlantic Airways Tokyo-London (2 pairs, 4
Application: Write to email@example.com with "P Kakari" in subject line.
Offer expires 12/31/2002
Closed Sweepstakes: Win prizes provided by Virgin Group companies with purchase from
Prize A 10,000JPY Gift Certificate of VIRGINMEGA.CO.JP (10 winners)
Prize B Premier Seat tickets at Virgin Cinemas (50 pairs, 100 persons)
Prize C Artist Merchandise from V2 Records (50 winners)
Offer expires 12/31/2002