Online retailer Rakuten have joined forces with a dozen other companies in Japan with the aim to sell ebooks from regular brick and mortar bookstores across the country. With this, they hope to bring about a higher degree of awareness among consumers in Japan about ebooks. Such a move, they believe, will also allow the traditional bookstores to remain relevant at a time when consumers around the world have taken to online means for purchasing books.
Also, coming as it does at a time when Amazon has gone on to dominate almost every major ebook market in the world including Japan, the combined efforts of the 13 companies is also expected to pose a worthwhile challenge to the dominance of Amazon. Rakuten no doubt will be particularly keen on this as it surely won’t like to see Amazon calling all the shots in its own backyard even after having enhanced it scope several times over with the acquisition of Kobo.
However, its not until the spring of 2014 that the above plan is expected to start bearing fruits.