Japan’s Largest Consumer Electronics Chain Trials Bitcoin Payments
Japan’s largest consumer electronics retailer Yamada Denki has partnered with the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bitflyer to trial bitcoin payments. Initially, bitcoin will be accepted at two of Yamada Denki Labi stores in Tokyo, but the company plans to roll out the digital currency payment option nationwide in the future.
Yamada Denki Stores Accept Bitcoin
Japan’s largest consumer electronics retailer, Yamada Denki, has announced that it has begun trialling bitcoin payments starting on January 27. This is in partnership with Bitflyer, Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange by trading volume.
<figure id="attachment_104287" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Yamada Denki Labi Shinjuku east exit pavillion.</figcaption>
According to a guide published by Japanese mobile phone operator NTT Docomo and an independent research by a Japanese investment research service, Kenkyo Investing, “Yamada Denki is the largest home appliance and electronics chain in all of Japan.”
Yabai’s guide to Japan’s biggest electronics stores describes, “Yamada Denki is known to be Japan’s biggest electronics store that carries a large selection of products sold at reasonable prices,” adding that:
Some of their products include computers, tablets, massage chairs, cell phones, air conditioners, kitchen appliances, cameras, and home remodeling items…Most of their displayed items and old models are offered at discounted prices, making Yamada Denki one of the best places tourists can get more bang for their bucks.
<figure id="attachment_104288" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Yamada Denki Concept Labi Tokyo.</figcaption>
For the trial, two directly operated stores have started accepting bitcoin: Yamada Denki Labi Shinjuku east exit pavilion and Concept Labi Tokyo.
The company says that these locations have many foreign visitors, making them good test locations for the digital currency integration. There is a limit of 300,000 yen (~USD$2,760) for using this payment option. To commemorate the event, each store is giving away 500 yen to the first 500 customers paying with the digital currency using Bitflyer wallet.
After the two test stores, Yamada Denki aims to deploy bitcoin payments nationwide, according to Bitflyer. “Through collaboration with Yamaka Denki, we are contributing to improving the convenience of more customers in Japan and overseas,” Bitflyer commented. The exchange has recently launched in Europe.
In addition to providing an additional payment method, Yamada Denki wrote:
We will implement initiatives to improve bitcoin recognition and usage promotion.
With the introduction of bitcoin payment service, we respond to the diverse needs of our customers both in Japan and overseas. We believe that we can provide improved service and convenience.
Future Stores Could Accept Bitcoin
<figure id="attachment_104303" style="width: 300px" class="wp-caption alignright">
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Number of directly-operated Yamada Denki stores.</figcaption>
Yamada Denki operates stores under a few brands including Tecc Land stores, Labi stores, Yamada Mobile, and Yamada Outlet.
Tecc Land stores are often found as standalone shops across Japan. Labi stores are large-scale outlets often found in front of train stations in city centers. Yamada Mobile specializes in mobile phones and computing. According to the company’s latest statistics, there are 956 directly-operated stores as of March 2017.
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<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Yamada Denki Tecc Land store.</figcaption>
In April of last year, another major electronics chain partnered with Bitflyer to accept bitcoin payments. Bic Camera also trialed the bitcoin payment method at two of its stores initially. Then in July of last year, the company announced that it was rolling out the bitcoin payment options to all of its stores. There are approximately 40 Bic Camera stores across Japan.
What do you think of Yamada Denki stores accepting bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia, Touch J, Nikkei, Yamada Denki, and Bitflyer.
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