Global auction house eBay has chosen the glam rock West Midlands city of Wolverhampton to open its first physical shop in the UK as part of its year-long Retail Revival initiative.
The temporary, concept storefront opened on May 10 and will offer items from 40 independent Wulfrunian businesses ranging from handbags, furniture and power tools to cheese. Customers can scan QR codes attached to what they want to buy, which is then delivered to them. The data from sales in the store will help eBay investigate how brick-and-mortar shops can play a part in driving further, online, business.
The Wolverhampton project is intended to support the efforts of small businesses in the city to 'expand their reach', and includes 'onboarding assistance' to help businesses set up their own online shop, a series of interactive workshops in digital selling skills, and support with promotion and customer services. Traders involved in the scheme generated £2 million within the first six months since the partnership's inception, eBay announced in March.
“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,” Rob Hattrell, vice president of eBay in the UK, told the Press Association.
Retail Revival was designed to promote small businesses and offer them a way of selling online. The project is already established in the U.S. and beyond, with businesses taking part in Canada, Russia, Ireland, Germany and Israel. [Engadget/Bloomberg]
Featured photo: Wolverhampton Today (Flickr)