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Rakuten to Replace Play.com in Global Consolidation

Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten is consolidating its international marketplaces, which will impact sellers on certain platforms in Europe. The company will move all of its ecommerce marketplaces into one global platform, a spokesperson told EcommerceBytes.

“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.”

Rakuten will launch Rakuten.co.uk in October. “The existing platform and website Rakuten’s Play.com, will continue to operate through 2014 and be replaced by the new global platform and Rakuten.co.uk website in the UK in Q1 2015,” the spokesperson stated. “This is hugely exciting, and will strongly support future growth of the marketplace model and Rakuten within the UK and Europe.”

In the U.S., Rakuten acquired Buy.com in 2010 and rebranded the site Rakuten.com Shopping last year. When asked whether the Rakuten.com site would be impacted, here’s what the company had to say:

The transition from direct sales to Rakuten’s B2B2C marketplace model has Rakuten rebranding Play.com to Rakuten.co.uk. This transition has no bearing on Rakuten.com.

This process is very similar to the Rakuten.com rebrand in the US, but is also underpinned by our unified global platform, which we have been transitioning many of our global marketplaces to since we first introduced it in Malaysia in November 2012. The global platform will eventually empower seamless cross-border ecommerce – a true global marketplace.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.