Boutique in Hand

WHILE MORE and more Americans expand their wardrobes with the click of a mouse, the Japanese are a step ahead, buying clothes on their cell phones. It's almost exactly the same as shopping on a computer, just smaller and more mobile.

In tech-savvy Japan, cell-phone commerce is an $83 billion industry. The leader is Xavel, which launched the first free-of-charge cell-phone consumer portal. Six years later, it's the country's most popular cell-phone shopping site, garnering 100 million hits a day. Its partner, boasts 1.5 million members and $43 million in monthly cell-phone transactions. "If I...

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