A large Japanese department store chain, Marui, has partnered with bitcoin exchange Bitflyer to accept bitcoin payments starting on August 7. Marui has become the first major department store chain in Japan to accept bitcoin.
Marui for ‘Young, Stylish Audience’
Marui is a popular chain of Japanese department stores that “features high end fashion brands and designers as well as boutiques,” according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). The stores are among the top seven shopping attractions featured on the JNTO website.
The Culture Trip describes Marui as “a major department store chain with stores in Tokyo and other large Japanese cities. Their iconic logo looks like ‘0101’, and is read ‘Marui’ in Japanese.” The chain targets “a young, stylish audience between the ages of 20-35,” the publication detailed.
The chain’s owner, Marui Group, was founded in 1931 and incorporated in 1937. The group currently has 31 stores across Japan.
Marui Shinjuku Annex Accepts Bitcoin
On Friday, Marui Group announced that it has partnered with Bitflyer, Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume and merchant services provider, to start a trial to accept bitcoin payments.
Initially, the group will only test this payment method at one of its locations, with the possibility of expanding it to more stores in the future. The Shinjuku Marui Annex will accept bitcoin between August 7 and October 31. This trial run is similar to what Bic Camera did in April.
Shinjuku is a major commercial and administrative centre in Tokyo, home to the world’s busiest train station as well as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
Only Bitflyer’s wallets, available on iOS and Android, can be used at Shinjuku Marui Annex initially. Customers scan the QR code on the store’s tablet at the point of sale with their smartphone camera. Transactions are settled in “a few seconds,” Bitflyer said.
To commemorate the event, Bitflyer is also conducting a drawing to give away 3,000 yen to 10 customers who spend more than 3,000 yen in bitcoin.
Japanese Merchant Adoption Continues to Grow
Since the Japanese government started recognizing bitcoin as a method of payment in April, a growing number of stores have started accepting bitcoin. Recently, Bitflyer has helped Bic Camera roll out the bitcoin payment option to all of its stores nationwide plus some Sofmap and Kojima stores as well.
Meanwhile, Coincheck has also been growing its list of merchants accepting bitcoin. More than 260,000 stores are expected to start accepting bitcoin this year using Coincheck’s payment service. This week, some merchants temporarily halted accepting bitcoin due to the August 1 hard fork which split the Bitcoin network.
What do you think of Marui accepting bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Marui, Bitflyer, Wikimedia
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