Germany’s leading online shopping club Brands4Friends has expanded into the Japanese market, following its expansion into Austria and the UK, to strengthen and accelerate its global growth. At customers in Japan now have the opportunity to purchase brand-name goods at lower prices. Co-investors and stakeholders of the Japanese platform are Partech International and Holtzbrinck Ventures; the founder and CEO of is Armel Cahierre, who previously was CEO of Paris Miki, the leading optical retailer in Asia.

“With Armel Cahierre and his team, we will accomplish our ambitious goals and become the Japanese market leader,” said Christian Heitmeyer, CEO and founder of “Our growth strategy of entering the Japanese market is not least due to Japanese consumers’ strong brand awareness and affinity for online shopping.”

Having entered the Austrian market in 2009, Berlin-based Brands4Friends partnered with the British online shopping club at the beginning of this year. The company currently has over 2.5m registered users and offers over 400 brands.

—Susannah Carey