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Rakuten Ichiba UK Ltd.
Rakuten Logo.png
Type Subsidiary
Headquarters Cambridge, England, UK
Industry Retail
Products DVDs, Music, Video Games, Books, Clothing, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & Office, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, Toys & Gifts, Baby, Musical Instruments, Hobbies & Craft, Groceries, Pets and Motoring.
Parent Rakuten
Alexa rank positive decrease 8,624 (February 2015)[1]
Launched 1998 (a trading name of Rakuten Ichiba UK Ltd.) was a Cambridge-based (originally Jersey) online retailer of DVDs, Music, Musical Instruments, Video Games, Books, Clothing, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & Office, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, Toys & Gifts and Baby Products. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of Rakuten.[2]

Since March 2013, the website has operated as part of the global Rakuten family as a Marketplace for third party sellers to sell through.[3]

The website was replaced by on March 23, 2015.

History[edit] was founded in 1998 under the name, but rebranded as in 2000. originally sold region 1 and 2 DVDs only, but since expanded its range to include CDs and video games and other electronic items. Since 2004 it has sold books and electronics, in 2006 it started selling personal computers, posters and T-shirts and in 2007 it started selling HD DVDs and Blu-rays, with sister site selling region 1 DVDs, HD DVDs and region A Blu-ray Discs and offering sales in a range of currencies. The site's interface has been redesigned on a number of occasions. was ranked second on the November 2006 UK "Hot Shops List" compiled by IMRG and Hitwise.[4]

In 2008, started selling DRM-free MP3s, clothing, accessories, and tickets for events, allowing customers to buy and sell tickets. They also held a consumer games show which was open to the public, with tickets available through This event was backed by Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Activision, and THQ among others.[5]

On 15 January 2009, a survey published by Verdict Research found was the UK's second favourite music and video retailer, behind first place and ahead of the now defunct entertainment retailer Zavvi which was third.[6] On 24 February 2009, it was reported that had topped the National Consumer Satisfaction Index,[7][8] ahead of and iTunes.

In May 2009, launched a branded Visa credit card in partnership with MBNA. Cardholders received points for purchases made on the website and at other retailers. Points could then be redeemed against products bought on the website.[9][10]

The website was closed down in February 2011. In September 2011, Japan-based Rakuten purchased for £25 million.[11]

Since March 2013, has operated solely as an online marketplace, where third party retailers sell products with their listings hosted on the website. All retailers on the Marketplace have the ability to build a fully branded and customised storefront, giving them control of how their products are merchandised.

In October 2014, UK marketplace was launched to eventually replace on March 23, 2015


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ Wood, Zoe (22 September 2011). " sold to Rakuten of Japan for £25m". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Jersey retailer closes direct retail business". BBC News. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "November Hitwise - IMRG Hot Shops List" -; retrieved 12 May 2007
  5. ^ Ian Ennis (31 January 2008). " Live: First Major UK Gaming Event". Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Amazon is UK's third favourite retailer". Retrieved 15 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "U.K. Consumers Most Satisfied With". 24 February 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ncsi-Uk". Ncsi-Uk. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Credit Card". Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  10. ^ " offers credit card". 20 May 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  11. ^ " bought by Japanese firm Rakuten for £25m - Media News". Digital Spy. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 

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