Seven-Eleven Japan Co. said Thursday it will set up a joint venture with seven firms in February to operate an e-commerce market that will offer products ranging from books to cars. The new company, 7 dream.com, will open its Web site in June to provide online services and introduce multimedia terminals to all 8,000 Seven-Eleven convenience stores in Japan by spring 2001, company officials said. Apart from books and cars, the products for sale include music, tours and mobile phones. Its partners include such electronics giants as Sony Corp. and NEC Corp. The five others are Nomura Research Institute, Sony Marketing (Japan) Inc., Mitsui & Co., Japan Travel Bureau, Inc., and Kinotrope, Inc., a consulting and system design firm for online businesses. Under the new service, consumers can order goods and services on the Web site through personal computers or multimedia terminals at any Seven-Eleven stores. Delivery and payment can be made at the stores. The multimedia terminals will also be able to download music from the Internet onto mini-discs, make digital prints from digital cameras via floppy disks, and ticketing for concerts. In the future, the downloading services will become available with other media, such as mobile phones and digital satellite televisions. The new company will be capitalized at 5 billion yen, with Seven-Eleven holding 51 percent, NEC and Nomura 13 percent each, Mitsui 6 percent, and Sony and Sony Marketing 6.5 percent each. JTB and Kinotrope will have 2 percent each. The eight firms’ initial investment will amount to some 40 billion yen. Its will be based in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. They estimate the worth of e-commerce transactions will reach 300 billion yen in fiscal 2003. While NEC will design and operate the Web site and produce the multimedia terminals, Sony Corp. and Sony Marketing will provide MD and integrated circuit technologies. Speaking at a news conference, Seven-Eleven Japan Chairman and CEO Toshifumi Suzuki said the new company will create a unique e-commerce business that will take advantage of the large number of convenience store and mobile phone customers. “There are 18,000 Seven-Eleven stores in 22 foreign countries. We would like to promote this business worldwide in the future,” said Suzuki. Each Seven-Eleven store in Japan averages 960 customers per day, the company said.
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