• Kyodo

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Rakuten Inc. and consumer electronics retailer Bic Camera Inc. have signed an agreement to launch a joint venture and start operating an online store in April.

The joint venture, announced Tuesday, is to be established early next year and will open a new online store called Rakuten Bic on Rakuten’s shopping site, enabling users to buy products and send requests for large appliances to be installed at their homes.

The joint venture will explore development of its own products and make efforts to expand areas eligible for same-day delivery using Bic Camera’s distribution bases.

It will also aim to start an in-store pickup service, enabling goods bought on Rakuten Bic to be collected at Bic Camera stores, and consider the pooling of Rakuten and Bic Camera purchase points.

Bic Camera currently operates an online shop in the e-commerce market run by Rakuten and the new venture will take over its customers, according to the companies.

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