Rakuten to launch new UK website as it streamlines its global marketplaces
Rakuten is to launch a new UK website this October as it moves all its marketplace businesses onto one global platform.
Play.com , which Rakuten bought to enter the UK market in 2011, will trade until the end of 2014 and then close by March 2015. Retailers selling on Play.com can register their interest in joining the new marketplace, which will mean signing up for a new monthly plan ahead of a transition to the new site, either through Play.com or on the Rakuten.co.uk site.
In a statement, Rakuten Group said: "The global ecommerce Marketplace platform creates enormous benefits to retailers and customers alike as they gain access to global marketplace products and customers plus all the advantages that a single platform brings.
"As a result, Rakuten has accelerated the move to the global platform in its European subsidiaries with the launch of Rakuten.co.uk in October this year. This is hugely exciting, and will strongly support future growth of the marketplace model and Rakuten within the UK and Europe."
Rakuten says the new site will offer retailers benefits including the ability to personalise stores, create exclusive offers, and offer the Rakuten Superpoints loyalty scheme. There will also be merchant training and the chance to work with Rakuten's social media team.
Meanwhile, Rakuten says customers will be able to collect points, buy from hundreds of unique merchants across the world, and find original and unique items from creative small businesses.