Creator of “Hello Kitty” and Other Popular Characters to Launch New e-Commerce Shopping Site This Holiday Season

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Sanrio, Inc., the developer of Hello Kitty and other merchandise, will launch a new online shopping site with enhanced merchandising features using Demandware’s e-commerce platform. The site is part of a strategic company-wide effort to enrich the brand experience of international icon Hello Kitty and a cast of other popular Sanrio characters. It is scheduled to launch this coming 2006 holiday season and will target customers in North America.

Demandware (http://www.demandware.com) announced today that Sanrio, Inc. will launch a new online shopping site with enhanced merchandising features using Demandware’s e-commerce platform. The site is part of a strategic company-wide effort to enrich the brand experience of international icon Hello Kitty and a cast of other popular Sanrio characters. It is scheduled to launch this coming 2006 holiday season and will target customers in North America.

Sanrio, Inc. is the North American subsidiary of the $1B worldwide group of Sanrio companies that develop, distribute and license over 50,000 gift, stationery, accessory and fashion items for girls and women of all ages. Its products are sold in more than 120 Sanrio boutiques and Momoberry stores as well as leading specialty, department and national chain stores, including Target, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and others.

Sanrio will use Demandware’s on-demand e-commerce technology to create an online venue for its merchandise and to introduce new items and specialty products such as Fender Hello Kitty guitars.

“In order to accommodate the growing demand of Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters, we wanted to ensure that our customers had better accessibility to our products through a more robust on-line program,” said Mas Imai, President and COO of Sanrio, Inc. “Our goal is to continue the delivery of the ‘Sanrio experience’ for our customers to enjoy anytime and anywhere they shop.”

Demandware’s unique e-commerce solution was designed with merchants in mind. Delivered as a true on-demand service, Demandware technology provides e-commerce retailers like Sanrio an array of core merchandising tools such as guided search, promotions management and simplified A/B testing that help drive customer transactions and higher order values. In addition, Demandware’s on-demand service allows customers to receive software upgrades automatically without additional cost, eliminating the need to worry about being stranded on an outdated software version.

“More and more retailers are realizing the power of true on-demand e-commerce as a means to cost-effectively build and maintain a strong brand,” said Stephan Schambach, president and CEO of Demandware. “Hello Kitty has enjoyed tremendous worldwide success, and we look forward to assisting Sanrio expand its online presence and continue this momentum.”

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Gretchen Mather
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