eBay Joins Peers in Opening Physical Stores


May. 21 2019, Published 9:48 a.m. ET

eBay opens first concept store in Britain

Amazon (AMZN), Alibaba (BABA), and JD.com (JD) are not the only major e-commerce companies investing in physical stores. eBay (EBAY) is hopping on this bandwagon too. eBay recently opened a pop-up store in the British city of Wolverhampton. And more such stores may open in the coming months.

eBay has launched an initiative dubbed Retail Revival where it offers small businesses a chance to showcase and sell their products in its concept stores. The idea behind the initiative is to show how online and offline retail can thrive together by tapping into each other’s unique strengths.

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Going offline to drive online growth

eBay is not the first to go offline to connect with small businesses in an attempt to bridge the gap between online and offline retail. Last year, Shopify (SHOP) set up its first physical space in Los Angeles, saying it would use the location to provide support to small businesses looking to expand online.

Amazon, Alibaba, and JD have also opened physical stores to showcase their most popular products and pickup locations for items customers purchase online.

British consumers still mostly shopping offline

Unlike the stores that Amazon and peers have set up, eBay is initially only opening temporary stores. For example, eBay’s Wolverhampton store will only open for a month. eBay’s retail revival initiative is expected to run for a year as the company grooms future marketplace customers as well as showing that all is not lost for traditional retailers despite the rise of online shopping.

British consumers spent more than $600 billion on retail purchases, with the lion’s share at nearly 80% going to offline retail businesses, according to eMarketer data. But the online retail segment is fastest growing in the country.

eBay made a profit of $521 million in the first quarter.


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