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Report: Panasonic plans appliance rental service in Japan

Panasonic Corp. is planning to launch a fixed-rate appliance rental service in its home market of Japan starting 2020, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Dec. 13.

The project is an expansion of the consumer electronics maker's trial television rental program that launched in February, according to the report.

The report said Panasonic uses the TV rental service to gather customer information, such as what channels users watch and at what time of day they use their TVs, for marketing and product development purposes.

Panasonic now reportedly wants to apply the same approach to household goods including refrigerators and other kitchen appliances.

The company's move comes as other Japanese consumer products retailers employ the fixed-rate rental business model, according to the report.