eBay has opened its first UK concept store. The pop-up store will be located in the heart of Wolverhampton and offer 40 small businesses from the local area the chance to showcase and sell their products for a month. eBay is helping to reinvent traditional high street retail by bringing together 40 small businesses into one physical shop. The concept store will also act as a retail experiment for eBay and the participating businesses, using QR codes for purchases and tracking a number of sales and traffic metrics. It is designed to provide an opportunity to better understand the interaction between physical and online retail and explore the valuable role physical stores can play in driving separate, online sales. The selection of businesses featured will change each week and will include businesses such as Tony’s Deli (a local deli selling his food hampers online), HomeSmart Blinds (a Wolverhampton based window blind supplier) and White B Gifts (a business selling illustrations inspired by local history).
The concept store is eBay’s latest commitment to Wolverhampton as part of its Retail Revival pilot scheme, a year-long programme in which the marketplace is working closely with 64 local businesses to help them maximise digital sales and demonstrate how online and physical retail can thrive in combination. eBay’s partnership with the City of Wolverhampton was announced in September 2018 after research conducted by Development Economics revealed that a quarter (25%) of small retailers across the UK do not have an online presence aimed at generating sales – defined as a website, social media channels or a presence on an online marketplace.
Said Rob Hattrell, Vice President of eBay in the UK: “The small retailers taking part in Wolverhampton’s Retail Revival have already shown that physical and online retail can survive – and thrive – together. They have achieved more than £2 million in sales as of March and many have employed more staff as a direct result of the partnership. This pop-up store aims to take that growth, and the value of this programme, to the next level. It will explore how stores of the future could combine technology with that vital human connection to powerful effect – whatever the size of the business.”
The eBay Government Relations team would like to extend a special thanks to UK MP Eleanor Smith for her unwavering support of this effort and for taking time out of her busy schedule to join us for this event.