Major Japanese retail store chain Marui has signed a partnership agreement with Bitcoin exchange Bitflyer that will enable it to accept Bitcoin payments in stores starting August 7. With this move, Marui becomes the first large department store chain in Japan to accept the digital currency for payment.
Plans to roll out to all 31 stores
Marui is a reputable and well-known chain of stores in Japan that features high-end fashion brands and designers, as well as boutiques. The department store is owned by Marui Group, which was founded in 1931 and incorporated in 1937. The group owns 31 stores across the country.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Marui’s department stores are among the top seven shopping attractions in the nation.
Meanwhile, Culture Trip considers Marui as a department store chain that mainly caters to the needs of young and stylish customers aged 20-35 years. The chain has stores in Tokyo and other major cities in Japan.
Test run in Shinjuku
Marui will test the use of Bitcoin as a payment method at its Shinjuku Marui Annex site in Tokyo from Aug. 7 to Oct. 31, 2017. The site is a major commercial and administrative center in the country’s capital. If the pilot goes well, Marui could continue the adoption of Bitcoin, ultimately allowing it at all 31 stores.
Other Bitcoin adoption developments
Despite the temporary halt on Aug. 1 due to uncertainties over forks, the number of Japanese merchants accepting Bitcoin is growing rapidly. This growth was spurred when the Japanese government gave Bitcoin legal tender status earlier this year. Among the merchants now accepting Bitcoin is Bic Camera, which introduced a Bitcoin payment option to all its stores in Japan, as well as in some Sofmap and Kojima stores.
Japan is also considered as one of the best countries to buy and spend Bitcoin due to the regulatory climate and favorable tax regime.