Play.com to close retail business, but marketplace lives on

Retailer Play.com is to shut down the direct retail business that has allowed shoppers in the UK to buy cheap CDs and DVDs online for the past few years.

The move comes as the Jersey-based retailer admitted on Twitter that direct sales were "no longer viable", replying to requests for information as the news broke.

The change in business direction means that Play.com is pulling out of Jersey completely, with a number of redundancies for staff on the island, and the surviving business moving to offices in Cambridge.

As far as customers are concerned, the move means they won't be able to buy cheap items from Jersey to take advantage of the Low Value Consignment Relief, which meant goods under £15 were VAT free. The LVCR loophole was closed in April 2012.

It's not the end for the Play.com business, however: it also runs a successful marketplace, allowing other retailers to sell through the website.

For example, if you search for a CD - Girls Aloud "Ten" - you currently get  an option to buy from Play.com direct for £8.99. This option will no longer be available.

But multiple retailers are returned when you search, all offering the same item at varying prices. While the Play.com direct purchase option will go, the others will remain, so there will still be buying options to explore.



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