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Jun 8, 2016
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Rakuten to leave the UK & Spain, sets focus on France & Germany

Jun 8, 2016

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten announced on Wednesday plans to withdraw from the UK and Spain due to the high cost of growth versus the sizes of the businesses.


The company, which is Japan’s answer to Amazon, will close its dedicated sites for the UK, Spain and Austria (rakuten.co.uk, rakuten.es and rakuten.at), as well as its Cambridge, Barcelona and Vienna operations.
Instead, investment will be refocused on France and Germany, where the e-commerce marketplace has the scale and potential for sustainable growth. 

The business said it has started to talk with employees about the planned closures, which are set to take place by the end of August. The plans are subject to completion of the consultation process with impacted employees in relevant jurisdictions, as well as other legal processes.
The Japanese marketplace will continue to evolve the e-commerce business model in countries across Europe, including initiatives such as the launch of a new Price Club to enhance membership loyalty in France and Rakuten Pro in Germany, a low-commission model for merchants aimed at enhancing service quality.
Rakuten will also continue to grow its presence in Europe across its diverse business portfolio, from e-commerce to digital content businesses such as Wuaki and Kobo, to the Viber messaging platform and the adtech business Rakuten Marketing.

The internet company is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world's largest by sales.

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