Rakuten ditch Priceminister brand in France

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Rakuten have at last decided to ditch the much loved Priceminister brand in France and are renaming the site to Rakuten but in a gentler way than the dumped the Play.com brand in the UK and Tradoria in Germany.

Today if you visit rakuten.fr it still redirects to the Priceminister URL but the Priceminister name has been demoted and is now simply a tagline to the Rakuten branding.

Rakuten name changes in the EU

To understand what’s going on we need to reflect on how Play.com and Tradoria disappeared. When Rakuten started buying up sites in Europe they appear to have put out an edict that all the sites would replatform to Rakuten software and rebrand within months. What follows is how it may have appeared to a casual onlooker and not necessarily exactly what happened within Rakuten:

In the UK, being obliging sort of chaps Play.com went hell for leather to push the changes through and in the process alienated all their sellers. Eventually the whole experiment failed and Play.com, now Rakuten.co.uk was shut down as they cut their losses.

In Germany they took a little longer, refused to be pushed on the platform front but adopted the name change.

The French simply said “No! We are Priceminister” and pretty much carried on as normal. Priceminister is such an iconic brand in France that reluctance to change for anything relatively unknown to the French consumer was a non-starter.

Rebranding as Rakuten.fr

Now it appears that Rakuten are ready to rebrand the French site and the much respected Priceminister name will be retired, but Rakuten are being cautious with a gentle rebranding exercise. We have little doubt that at some point the tagline will change from Priceminister to Rakuten’s customary ‘Shopping is Entertainment!’, but that is for the future.

If you sell on Priceminister, or as we should become accustomed to calling the marketplace, Rakuten France, let us know if you see any blips in sales – either up or down. The name change took place a couple of days ago but hopefully apart from that it’s business as normal.

There is one question still unanswered, and that is what will Rakuten do with Rakuten.co.uk, formerly Play.com? Currently it’s just a shopping comparison site but might they attempt a resurrection in the future?

One Response

  1. Stopped selling on there after Christmas, sales last year just fell off a cliff. Rakuten have made a mess of the whole European expansion and should of just kept the platforms that were there and continued to grown them. This must of cost them millions.

    It’s so said that marketplaces seem to be driven to copy Amazon rather than making their own way.



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