Home / News / Play.com to close retail business
Online retailer cites the closure of the Low Value Consignment Relief loophole as damaging its retail business

Play.com to close retail business

The online retailer has announced that it will shut down its direct retail business and become a marketplace only business from March 2013.

Play.com has cited the closure of the Low Value Consignment Relief loophole in April last year as ultimately leading to the demise of the firm’s retail business.

The LVCR loophole allowed items below £15 to be sold to the UK VAT free.

In the wake of the decision, 147 staff have been made redundant in the firm’s head office in Jersey, in addition to 67 employees in its Cambridge and Bristol offices.

A statement released from Play.com says: "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."

Play.com was sold to Japanese company Rakuten for just £25m in September 2011 and has since seen its dominant online business dwindle.

It would appear that in the current economic climate, nobody is safe, with online retailers such as Play suffering the same fate as High Street rivals.

It’s hard to imagine Play.com thriving as a marketplace only business, given its similarity to eBay and the latter’s dominance of the market.

Back in September 2012, the States of Jersey announced that up to 400 people had lost their jobs in Jersey following the end of the LVCR.

Want to receive up-to-the-minute tech news straight to your inbox? Then click here to sign up for the completely free PCR Daily Digest and Newsflash email services. You can also follow PCR on Twitter and Facebook.

Check Also

WatchGuard enables partners to rapidly expand security services footprint and grows partner ecosystem by over 50 percent

WatchGuard Technologies has announced that both its existing and newly added partners from the Panda Security …