As you will likely know, Rakuten.co.uk declared it would be shutting up shop some months ago. But it looks like there is one last gasp and attempt at reinvention.
The marketplace element has already been scrapped but the platform will still be populated by affiliated suppliers, it seems and buyers will have the opportunity to shop and earn Rakuten Super Points (“RSP”). These points will be redeemable on Wuaki or can be exchanged for Viber Out credit.
You can read the full changes here on the Rakuten website here, which starts with a summary of changes.
It’s very difficult to summon up any enthusiasm for these changes. I still look at Rakuten and am astonished that they managed to go from a fairly strong third place position as an online marketplace with potential to a complete nothing. A decent third player is desperately needed but it won’t be Rakuten.