Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten is launching a UK site this year and plans to close down its Play.com website next year.

Rakuten, which bought Play.com for £25m in 2011, is planning to shut down the site in March next year and will redirect traffic to Rakuten.co.uk, which it will launch in October this year.

Marketplace Rakuten.co.uk will launch on the same platform as the rest of the Japanese retailer’s site as part of a move to “global borderless shopping in the future”, according to Rakuten.

Rakuten plans for merchants on the marketplace to sell to customers worldwide from the Rakuten.co.uk site.

It will launch a “large-scale multichannel campaign” to coincide with the Rakuten.co.uk launch.

Existing Play.com merchants are invited to register their interest to move to Rakuten.co.uk and new monthly plans will be put forward with “variable category commissions”.

The firm said that Rakuten.co.uk will be “the newest, most exciting marketplace in the UK” and has the remit of “connecting unique, interesting retailers with new customers”.

Rakuten said its soon-to-launch site will have easy-to-use personalisation tools, allowing merchants to personalise their online shops with branding, categories, products and stories, and create exclusive offers that they can promote through their own email database.

Rakuten.co.uk will also have a Super Points loyalty scheme to encourage repeat purchase.