MarketLine Blog

Play.com to leave the UK market

Play.com, the online retailer owned by Rakuten, is closing its UK direct retail store business and became an online marketplace. From March 2013, the company will no longer sell directly to customers and will instead, employ a business model similar to Amazon and eBay, allowing its users to list their own items (e.g. DVDs, video games, and electronics), on its website for sale.

The closure is a result of the closing of a tax loophole, which exempted items under £15 (around $24) in value being imported to the UK from the Channel Islands from being sold with Value Added Tax of 20%.The loophole, known as Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) was closed in 2012.

The retailer’s decision means redundancy for all of its 147 staff in Jersey and 67 people in Cambridge and Bristol. The LVCR’s closure is already believed to be the cause of around 400 redundancies in the Channel Islands.

Read more in our interesting case study – ‘Play.com Case Study: The Rapid Rise of the Internet Retailer’

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