Play.com to close CD and DVD retail business

9 Jan 2013

play.com closes

Play.com is to close its direct retail business and stop selling CDs, DVDs and more from March 2013.

The company will remain solely as an eBay-style marketplace site, only allowing users to buy and sell from other individual retailers.

The company, which is based in Jersey, blames the ending of Low Value Consignment Relief, which allowed items less than £15 to be sold to the UK VAT-free, reports the BBC. 

All 147 staff in Jersey are to be made redundant, plus a further 67 permanent and temporary staff based in Bristol and Cambridge.

The move comes after the company was bought by Japanese company Rakuten for £25 million last year.

A statement from Play.com reads: "Following a strategic review of our business operations we have today announced a company restructure.

"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...

"We would like to reassure our customers that they can continue to shop with us, purchase from an expanding range of products, and still receive the great quality of service they have come to expect."

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Comments

I agree they declined regards prices and website. For me a little sad as the first ever Internet shopping I did was with Play, and it was also where I bought my first every DVD (Fantasia Anthology).

My history shows 182 items, but by far the majority of them are closer to the year 2000 than now.

The LVTR (tax relief) change was a fairly pointless political move, which has seen companies go bust or simply move elsewhere but still outside the EU. There is some hope for the flower growers that were the intended beneficiaries of LVTR in it being reinstated in a limited form, but really all this move did (as widely predicted) was harm the business of these two British islands.

A little ironic given the tiny amounts of tax in question compared to, say, Amazon's corporate tax avoidance.

The prices went up as soon as Rakuten took over. I stopped using and now use Amazon exclusively. Mind, I'm not happy about the tax avoidance issues.

Not surprised tbh. Their website has been a mess for a long time now, and I have never trusted them since they had a hack which stole some of the user data. In fact I think they used a 3rd party that was also hacked in a separate incident. Having 2 emails from them apologising was just too much to have any confidence in them. Subsequently I have not ordered from them again.

I don't give the marketplace business much chance longterm against Amazon and Ebay. But we shall see.

Good in it's early days, but for so long now a 2nd tier e-merchant IMHO.