Play.com which is a UK based online retailer will be shut down from March 2013. But, the retailer is also planning to re-launch itself as a trading site similar to Ebay and Amazon.
The closure of Play.com is due to the expiration of a tax loophole that prohibited items under £15 (around $24) in value from being sold with Value Added Tax (VAT), currently set at 20 percent. Because of this closure, the retail business of the online retailer will see the loss of 147 jobs in Jersey and 67 across its Cambridge and Bristol offices by 31st March 2013.
Play.com was sold to Japanese company Rakuten, Japan’s largest online retail operator, for £25 million in September 2011 and has subsequently become a significantly diminished figure in the online retail space. It was then announced a couple of months later that a tax loophole was to be closed as of April 2012. The end of this loophole has been blamed for the end of the once powerful retailer.
But the online retailer has confirmed that it will re-launch itself and become a marketplace-only service, similar to eBay or Amazon’s marketplace.
Play.com will no longer sell items directly to customers; instead of shipping its own inventory, the online retailer will focus purely on customers using the site to sell and purchase items such as DVDs, video games, and electronics on its website for sale, similar to Amazon and eBay.