Take two things Japan does very well — and combine them!

Just when you think there isn’t much more room for innovation with the world of karaoke, along comes FamilyMart with a new branch, FamilyMart + Karaoke DAM Kamata Minamiguchi Ekimae.

The chain has got together with karaoke parlor Dam to launch this special half-conbini, half-karaoke singing joint at the south exit of Kamata Station, in west Tokyo. The 27-room parlor opens on April 17th and if it succeeds, it could be the start of a new business model.

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This isn’t just a collaboration between two service industry chains and a simple “combined facility”. They have come up with a way to fuse the services, so customers are now allowed to purchase food and drinks from the convenience store and then take them into the karaoke box. For example, normally at a karaoke parlor, you can only order from the menu — and sometimes they have complicated one-drink mandatory rules. Either way, the drinks will usually be pretty poor (watered down beer) and the food is of the deep-fried and fast variety. Plus it will cost you more than a convenience store, naturally.

This way you can get a bit more choice and things will be cheaper. The new store also presumably doesn’t need to hire more staff and set up extra facilities to handle the cooking and drink preparation.

After all, convenience stores in Japan already offer a host of services, from dry-cleaning drop-off and pick-up to ticket purchasing, paying for online purchases via Amazon and other vendors, courier drop-off, and even buying tickets for special garbage disposal.

Karaoke Dam has 369 karaoke parlors around Japan, while FamilyMart currently has over 10,000 stores nationwide. That’s a lot of chances, then

Brian Ashcraft at Kotaku ponders if the next step is allowing the karaoke singing to take place actually inside the convenience store!

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