Nekore: Webservice for the Japanese fashionista with no time

The Japanese are known to be one of the most fashion-conscious people in the world. And rumor has it they are the busiest. Their purchasing power is very high. Moreover, Japan boasts one of the largest markets for print magazines in the world.
Combine these elements and out comes a web site like nekore.
The service is presumably unique on a global level: Consumers are able to order items they stumble upon in fashion magazines without getting in touch with manufacturers or retailers! All they need to do is to register at nekore.com, email the page number of a magazine (the list is here) and location of the pants, jacket, pair of shoes etc. on the page and wait. A mobile site is also available.
Picture: nekore home page (main menu points translated in red)
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Picture: Selection of magazines
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Employees of the service investigate if the item in question is available, (if yes) wait for the payment and then complete the whole transaction by delivering a package to the customer’s door! Customers can choose between credit card payment, COD, bank transfer and payment at convenience stores.
The delivery is done by nekore’s parent company Yamato Holdings. Yamato is a huge Japanese logistics company but primarily known as a parcel delivery giant in this country. It established nekore in November 2004 as the first service of its kind. Similar sites include magaseek and Love Fashion! JO.
Although Yamato can use its own transportation infrastructure, pricing is rather steep. Depending on the value of the order, nekore charges at least 3,800 Yen (36 USD/23 Euros) for the transaction. For some strange reason, the minimum price for orders based on finds in magazines for men is 1,000 Yen higher. The site seems to be doing OK though. It became profitable in March last year.
nekore’s offering is ideal for people who don’t have the time or nerves to search for specific items on their own. Moreover, customers in rural or remote areas might be in the target group as well.
While the business model makes sense in a way, I am sure a web service like nekore would fail in Germany, for example (where I hail from). This is simply because most customers there would feel the prices are too high.
How about North American and European (Non-German) customers?

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