Here we would like to introduce the company history, starting from establishment, up to being listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
President CEO Maezawa left for the US after his high school graduation.
He was very impressed with the musicians who sold their CDs, along with food and clothing to their audiences at concert venues. After he returned to Japan, he started selling CDs and records he imported from the US at his concert venues as well.
He expanded his business by launching a mail-order based commerce that handled imported CDs and records.
At the time, he was using his home closet as a warehouse,taking customer orders using his home phone and fax.
With a capital amount of 3 million yen, he established the company as a catalog retailer for imported CDs and records.
He was totally pressured with handling customer calls and shipments, along with his band, which was already in a major stage. He looks back and says he barely had time to sleep at the time.
To create an online bases, he first outsourced website development and relevant design works, spending 20 million yen, but was not satisfied with what he received. Instead, he decided to acquire such skills on his own, and took key role for site design.
With the purpose of delivering his favorites to customers who appreciated similar things, he expanded the business to apparel products as an addition to CDs and records.
Internet commerce for apparel products was not a popular trend at the time, therefor the business was initially laughed at by some people.
A long-awaited online apparel shop was launched.
“DEVILOCK”, “DOARAT”, and “Montage” all of which were men’s street fashion brands were sold on the online shop at the time. Due to the lack of advertising expenses, each staff posted at least 100 posts a day on online bulletin boards to promote the shop and attempted to guide customers to it.
On April 2000, the company converted to a joint stock corporation and changed its name to STARTTODAY CO., LTD. At the same time, he ceased his band activities as a professional musician, and started focusing entirely on his business.
Driven by the increasing participation of female employees, we launched our first online select shop for ladies apparel named “QUNIEE”.
We kept on developing more and more online select shops, where we finally reached a number of 17. These shops had different URLs, user interfaces and domains.
Driven by the increasing users and brands, we aggregated the17 online shops which were separately operated, and launched a virtual town named “ZOZOTOWN” where imagination and creation come and go.
To avoid tarnishing the uniqueness of shops and brand images, ZOZOTOWN was designed by a famous architect. By digitally replicating real brick-and-mortar shops of the brands, we created a sophisticated virtual town online.
We started hiring new graduates, and 5 fresh recruits joined the company in April.
New services such as “ZOZOARIGATO” and “ZOZORESORT” were launched during this year.
On 11 December 2007, the company was listed on the TSE Mothers market.
After this, we kept on developing new services one after another, such as the e-commerce consulting business.
(This picture was taken at a ceremony for TSE Mothers listing. Directors wrote “NOWAR” on their T-shirts.)
On 29 February 2012, after 17 years from when Maezawa used his home closet as a warehouse, Starttoday successfully completed alternative listing to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Do your favorite things with your favorite people. Bring a smile to your neighbor’s face. We believe our basic, “down to earth” attitude has led us to our growth.
By connecting with more people, we believe we can bring more smiles to the world, and these factors will help us grow as well.