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TMCNet:  Japanese companies to test sales of e-books at regular bookstores

[December 22, 2013]

Japanese companies to test sales of e-books at regular bookstores

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Dec. 22 -- (Kyodo) _ A consortium of 13 companies, including bookstore chain Kinokuniya Co. and online shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc., will test sales of e-books at regular bookstores, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.

The test sales will begin next spring, with the aim of promoting e-books that are still unfamiliar to many Japanese consumers and halting the decline in the number of regular bookstores in the country, according to the sources.

The consortium expects demand for e-books to grow as an increasing number of customers are inquiring about e-books at regular bookstores.

The consortium is also aiming to counter U.S. online retail giant Inc., which has held the largest share in Japan's e-book market since the launch of its Kindle tablets.

The consortium is considering showing a list of e-books at bookstores and having buyers download titles, the sources said.

The 13 companies also include Sanseido Bookstore Ltd. and publication distributor Nippon Shuppan Hanbai Inc.

(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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