Following the lead of rival 7-Eleven, Japan's second largest convenience store chain Lawson has teamed up with technology giants NTT DoCoMo, Mitsubishi and Matsushita Electric Industrial in a joint e-commerce venture to sell travel tickets, computer games and CDs on WAP phones. Shoppers will place orders for the goods on their phones and collect them from their nearest Lawson store. Lawson will own a majority stake in the new company i-convenience, which is aiming to achieve annual revenues of 93bn yen by 2005. But analysts remain sceptical about the viability of investing large amounts of cash in e-commerce after similar ventures at arch rival 7-Eleven failed to substantially increase footfall or revive its flagging share price. Nobuharu Ono, md of NTT DoCoMo, Japan's biggest mobile network operator, is convinced the venture will become a "Japanese success story" given that WAP transactions are forecast to grow from 4.4bn yen in 1999 to 1.1trillion yen by 2005. Investors were not convinced however, and Lawson's stock fell 0.6% to 4,960 yen following the announcement. 7-Eleven stock continues to languish at just over 7,000 yen from highs of over 18,000 yen last November, when the chain first started to pump cash into e-commerce ventures with industry heavyweights including Microsoft and Sony. Since then, shareholders have abandoned the stock, as a rapid return on their investment seems increasingly unlikely. Lawson's share price has fallen almost a third since July. {{NEWS }}