NEWS

Play.com closes direct retail business

Published on: 10th January 2013

From March 2013, online retailer Play.com is to shut down its retail business to become marketplace-only.

The Jersey-based firm blamed the move on the ending of Low Value Consignment Relief, which allowed items less than £15 to be sold to the UK VAT-free. All 147 staff in Jersey are to be made redundant as well as 67 in its Cambridge and Bristol offices. Play.com will now become more like a shopping centre, no longer selling directly to customers.

In a statement Play.com said: “Moving forward we are intending to focus exclusively on our successful marketplace, which is our main business area, and to phase out the direct-retail part of our business.”

In September 2011, Play.com was taken over by Japanese e-commerce operator Rakuten. It paid £25m ($39.3m, 28.6m euros) for the company, which at the time had 14m registered users and was one of the largest online retailers in the UK.

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