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Sony goes direct in Japan with online Vaio store

Brings CE giant one step closer to 'online department store' goal

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Sony started sell direct in its homeland today through its new e-commerce business.

The electronics giant said it was aiming for sales from Sony Style.com Japan to hit Y10 billion ($93.1 million) in its first fiscal year.

The Web site will initially sell consumer electronics and related services such as the company's Vaio computers, later moving to camcorders and digital cameras. There will also be a limited PC assembly online option, where customers can choose software and memory when they buy a computer.

The cyber venture will only be made available to customers in Japan. Sony currently sells online in Europe and its Vaio line can be bought direct in the US.

The move is part of Sony's scheme to become what the company president Nobuyuki Idei described last year as an "online department store".

"What we are aiming for is to become a department store that handles everything that can be distributed through our digital networks," he said. ®

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