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Japan's Rakuten, Bic Camera team up to sell electronics online

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. said Dec. 19 that it has formed a new company with Japanese electronics retailer Bic Camera Inc. to manage Bic Camera's store on Rakuten's online platform as well as other retail projects.

Rakuten said the new company, called "Rakuten Bic," will start operations in April 2018.

Rakuten Bic will take over the operations of Bic Camera's storefront on the Rakuten Ichiba platform. Rakuten said the new company will draw on Rakuten's expertise in the online realm and Bic Camera's strength with physical stores to make electronics shopping "more convenient."

The store will sell Bic Camera items, provide installation services and offer same-day delivery. Rakuten said it and Bic Camera will integrate online and offline operations so a customer can order products online through Rakuten Bic and pick them up at a physical Bic Camera store. Customers will also be able to use and earn Rakuten Super Points at Bic Camera stores.

The two companies will also look into developing original products together to sell at the Rakuten Bic store and in Bic Camera stores, Rakuten said.