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Japanese convenience store operator FamilyMart Co. was to set up a joint venture with six other firms Friday to bring e-commerce to convenience stores.

The new company, famima.com Co., is to operate Web sites for, and place multimedia terminals in each of 5,554 FamilyMart stores. The services will start in October, the company said Thursday.

The new firm will be capitalized at 400 million yen, with FamilyMart holding a 50.5 percent stake. Itochu Corp. will own 14.5 percent, and NTT Data Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. will have 10 percent each. Dai Nippon Printing Co., Japan Travel Bureau, Inc. and Pia Corp. will hold 5 percent each.

Tens of thousands of goods will be offered through the store chain’s online markets.

Sales of 120 billion yen are expected for fiscal 2003, which ends March 31, 2004.

Shiro Inoue, an executive committee member of FamilyMart, will head the new firm. She said the new system will provide better service to consumers as each store can learn detailed consumer needs through its Web site.

The new company expects to create 120 billion yen in sales for fiscal 2003, which ends March 31, 2004.

In April, FamilyMart established an e-commerce venture, e-Plat Japan Co., with four other convenience store operators to develop common platforms, content and payment systems for multimedia terminals placed at convenience stores. The convenience store chains are Circle K Japan Co., Sunkus and Associates Inc., Three F Co. and Ministop Co.

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