SingPost is bidding sayonara to Clout Shoppe, an online luxury goods store it started in 2011. It has sold the business to Reebonz, a company that also sells branded goods on the internet. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The deal makes sense for SingPost, Singapore’s national postage mail delivery company. After a decade of dabbling in e-commerce, it has finally found a formula that takes advantage of its regional logistics network – by becoming an end-to-end e-commerce services provider to retailers with no expertise in selling online.
But having Clout Shoppe around could be awkward for SingPost due to the conflict of interest in running a company that’s a direct competitor to potential clients.
“The main thing for us is to be an e-commerce enabler. We don’t want to compete with our clients,” Marcelo Wesseler, senior vice-president of e-commerce at SingPost, told Tech in Asia.
While selling the company could increase the likelihood of attracting customers, it apparently has no trouble attracting an initial set: over 300 brands, including Adidas, Canon, Philips, and Toshiba, have relied on SingPost to create online stores that carry their brand names.
For merchants that don’t want to commit to a ‘monobrand’ store, SingPost has Omigo, an online multi-brand website that’s like Rakuten and Lazada Marketplace but with the added feature of handling packing and shipping. Omigo also serves as a test bed for merchants who are considering the adoption of SingPost’s full suite of e-commerce services.
Clout Shoppe and Reebonz are a good fit together: the latter has been selling luxury goods online through flash sales since 2009, making Clout Shoppe an additional channel to increase Reebonz’s sales.
Reebonz already has offices in at least nine markets in Asia-Pacific, and has raised US$40 million in funding in 2013. Samuel Lim, CEO and co-founder of Reebonz, said that his company is seeking out more ways to collaborate with SingPost. It is currently exploring “areas of strategic partnerships in areas of e-fulfilment and logistics.”
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)