Ebay is set to open a new “concept store” in the UK, marking the latest ecommerce giant to make a concerted push into physical retail.
The pop-up store, based in Wolverhampton, will offer 40 small local companies the chance to showcase their products for a month, aiming to show that “physical and online retail can survive, and thrive, together.”
Participating merchants will be able to track sales and traffic metrics via the use of QR codes, aiming to paint a clearer picture of the interaction between physical and online retail.
Every week the selection of businesses on display will change, and the store will also host a series of free interactive workshops and training seminars throughout the month.
Ebay’s UK boss Rob Hattrell added that the small companies taking part in its “retail revival pilot”, had “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.”
Last September Ebay entered into a year-long partnership with the city of Wolverhampton, working closely with 64 local businesses to help them maximise digital sales, offering them training and support in digital skills like SEO.
This comes as various online retailers including Amazon begin to make headway into the physical retail sphere.
Throughout last year Amazon ramped up its roll out of Amazon Go grocery stores, hoping to bring its signature brand of disruption to the physical grocery sector and stamp its mark on the rapidly changing landscape.
It launched another new format late last year called Amazon 4 Star, where a range of items with reviews of four or more stars available on its online marketplace are sold.