Rakuten is closing its marketplace in the United Kingdom in August. The online platform will also cease its operations in Spain and move customers and merchants from the Austrian website to the German website. The Japanese company wants to focus fully on France and Germany, where its websites have the scale and potential for sustainable growth.
A spokesperson of the company said that in the UK and Spain, “the cost of growth relative to the size of the businesses has led to plans to close these operations.” In Austria, some things will change too. Both merchants and customers will be redirected to the German Rakuten website, as Rakuten.at will close its doors as well. The three marketplaces are expected to shut down by the end of August.
Evolving ecommerce business model across Europe
In the official press release announcing the shutdown of Rakuten’s marketplaces, the company emphasizes it will continue to “evolve the ecommerce business model” in countries across Europe. It will launch a new Price Club to enhance membership loyalty in France and Rakuten Pro in Germany, which is aimed at enhancing service quality.