Thursday, October 20, 2005

In Japan: iPods at Seven-Eleven

In Japan, Apple plans to sell its iPods at Seven-Eleven.

The convenience store chain may sound like an unlikely venue for iPods, but in Japan, not only does Seven-Eleven have a slightly, ahem, more upscale image, but the stores also offer services beyond what they do in the U.S.--things like photocopying, bill paying, and even paying for and picking up items bought over the Internet.

Prospective iPod buyers will get to see display models in the store. If they decide to buy, they order the item there and pick it up after it arrives.

One category of products sold by Seven-Elevens in America that their counterparts in Japan don't: over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. There, even drugs like aspirin and antacid can only be sold by a licensed pharmacist. This isn't just job security for pharmacists; it apparently has to do with keeping up the price of OTC drugs.

—Mellow Monk

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