From the start of 2015, Play.com will disappear as a brand name and become Rakuten, the name of the Japanese company which owns Play.com. Rakuten is poised to become an international brand.
Known in US and Europe
Rakuten has purchased several large trading sites over the past few years, changing their names into Rakuten along the way. German Tradoria changed, followed by American Buy.com. Play.com will join the list at the start of 2015, changing into Rakuten.co.uk, while both names will be used from October onward. French Priceminister, also owned by the Japanese company, will probably be next in line to change names.
Rakuten aims to become a well-known name in the United States and Europe over the next few years, to increase its competitive position compared to Amazon, among others. It employs the marketplace model to achieve that: Rakuten owns the website and gives third-party sellers the opportunity to use the platform to sell their products. That allows Rakuten to create a wide range of products, similar to Bol.com's Plaza model.