SoftBank, 7-Eleven Aim To Be Japan's Amazon
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Propelling the business beyond the Slurpee, Japanese conglomerate Softbank Corp. Thursday joined forces with Japan's 7-Eleven convenience store chain to sell books and CDs online.
The joint venture, called E-Shopping Books, will offer a book-selling service heavily modeled after Amazon.com, according to published reports. The new service will offer online reader book reviews and other features similar to those of the popular American e-tailer.
Unlike Amazon, buyers can have their orders delivered by mail or they can arrange to pick them at a local 7-Eleven store.
E-Shopping Books will begin service in November.
Softbank discussed a joint venture with Amazom.com's Jeffrey Bezos, but ultimately chose local partners to cater more effectively to the Japanese market, reports said.
7-Eleven Japan bought U.S. Seven-Eleven operator Southland Corp. in 1991, and is 50 percent owned by Japanese supermarket chain Ito-Yokado Co.
Softbank's shares jumped 14 percent Thursday on the news, and Seven-Eleven soared to a record high.