is to shut down its retail business to become a marketplace in March.

The online retailer, owned by Rakuten, is to make 147 staff redundant in Jersey as well as 67 at its Cambridge and Bristol offices.

The etailer said it had to close the retail business because of the end of Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR), allowing items less than £15 to be sold to the UK VAT free, the BBC reported.

The Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) loophole was shut by the UK government in April 2012.

When was acquired by Rakuten in 2011 for £25m the low price suggested the business was not performing as strongly as some observers had believed.

In a statement said: “Moving forward we are intending to focus exclusively on our successful marketplace, which is our main business area, and to phase out the direct retail part of our business.”

“We would like to reassure our customers that they can continue to shop with us, purchase from an expanding range of products, and still receive the great quality of service they have come to expect.”