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Kyocera Partners with Major Retailer to Market Solar Cells

June 28th, 2009 by kalyan89 in Press Releases, Reports, PV Industry - Asia, PV-General

Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Microdevices, May 13, 2009
Source: TechOn

Aeon Co Ltd, a leading retailer in Japan, and Kyocera Corp formed a business alliance for the marketing of solar cells.  “We have focused on door-to-door sales thus far. The alliance with Aeon will change our business model,” Kyocera President Tetsuo Kuba said, indicating the company’s aim to boost its solar cell sales by making the most of Aeon’s outlets, at which more than 10 million people shop every year.  Meanwhile, Aeon President Motoya Okada said, “We are aiming to enhance our reform business. In that process, solar cells will be a key product.”

Aeon and Kyocera set a goal at installing solar cell modules at 10,000 existing houses by the end of fiscal 2011. To meet this goal, Kyocera Solar Corp’s dealers and franchise stores will open their shops as tenants at Aeon’s shopping malls.  Initially, the shops will open at “Aeon Lake Town” (Saitama Prefecture, Japan) and “Aeon Mall Hinode” (Tokyo) in the fall of 2009, followed by stores that will open at shopping malls in the Kansai district in the spring of 2010. Based on the results at these shops, Kyocera will spread the shops horizontally in other shopping malls across Japan.

To promote sales, Kyocera will conduct a caravan tour that will visit shopping malls all over Japan, while Aeon Credit Service Co Ltd will start offering “solar loans.” In addition, Aeon and its group company, Aeon Delight Co Ltd, will run standing counters, where they sell solar cell modules and offer installation services, at Aeon’s “Housing Reform” sections.

Aeon installed solar cell modules at 122 of its shopping malls by the end of fiscal 2008. And, for 96 of the 122 malls, it procured solar cell modules from Kyocera. Based on this history, the two companies agreed to form the business alliance.  In line with the policies of the national and local governments to expand subsidies for the installation of solar cell modules, the number of companies starting to sell solar cells like Aeon is increasing in Japan. A volume retailer of home appliances in Tokyo sells solar cells in collaboration with builders and was promoting Sharp’s solar cell panels, for example.  The penetration of solar cells is likely to accelerate as a result of them being sold by companies that can attract many customers who are potential buyers.