eBay CEO Devin Wenig predicts big changes to High Street stores soon

eBay CEO Devin Wenig took his opportunity at the annual Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas this week to look at the future of eBay (looking in particular at the importance of swift delivery) but also to consider how the High Street is responding. In particular he considers the Bricks and Mortar (B&M) retail world to be at a turning point with change coming sooner than many might imagine.

Wenig said:”The fourth quarter of last holiday season was a really important moment. I think it was an inflection point where that was the end of retail as we know it. And I do think the restructuring of this industry is going to happen faster than a lot of people think. The fourth quarter is the moment that people will look back on and say, ‘That’s when the current structure of the industry was irretrievable.'”

He believes that B&M stores will increasingly become “mini distribution centers” if they’re to prove their value and that doubtless reflects eBay’s own investment in Click & Collect and also speaks to Amazon’s own investments in convenience collection facilities such as lockers.

Wenig added: “I think the complete death of stores has been greatly exaggerated. The consumer wants stores. The entire world will not be online. But there are both capacity and utility issues in retail. People don’t like poor store experiences.”

You can watch his full comment in this video:

The eBay CEO also made comment on the new US President’s policy regarding border taxes, import duties and immigration. All of which will impact eBay’s business model. Wenig has previously been critical of Trump.

Despite that he showed some diplomacy, without naming names, when he said: “I absolutely want the President of the United States to succeed. I’m the CEO of an American business and I’m an American citizen. With that said, we’re going to speak up about issues that for us, aren’t about politics, they’re about our business.”

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Half our town centre is up to let, I can not ever remember so many units available The problem is rent and rates are massively unaffordable for the majority of businesses except the large national chains and charity shops There are some independent coffee shops doing well and the occasional niche high end clothing store and jewellers doing well It's not all doom and gloom but we are undoubtably in a period of change for the high street

Ian A • 24th March 2017 •

Most high street shops are owned by investment companies. This is effecting the growth of the high street.

jim • 25th March 2017 •

Why would anyone listen to anything Wenig has to say? His Ebay site is shambolic, dysfunctional and is collapsing under the weight of paid ads. Making sellers remove active content was designed to clear the way for, wait for it, more paid ads from Ebay. Revenue is only growing because they are raising fees not related to selling, i.e., they still get paid whether you sell or not. The ads are part of that, to stop the share price collapsing and page loading speeds have dived with disastrous results for buyers and sellers in past weeks. As for B&M, can we please lose this irritating tedious techno babble? I can think of a few abbreviations for Ebay and Wenig: here's one suggestion - CWOFT

Andy R • 25th March 2017 •

@ Andy R. Your comments concerning ebay CEO: “His Ebay site is shambolic, dysfunctional and is collapsing” - are you using the same site as me? You go onto say: "Why would anyone listen to anything Wenig has to say?” Really? Have you seen Devin Wenig credentials? I think we are in safe hands. However, I do agree with you in the techno bable.

Alan Paterson • 26th March 2017 •

Wenig bank account car and house will be bigger & better than most who read this, talking bollocks is the way forward

northumbrian • 25th March 2017 •

Got a bit of a Zoolander thing going on I think...

Ben • 27th March 2017 •

"Have you seen Devin Wenig credentials? I think we are in safe hands." - You really think that? Ebay showed growth in 2016 of (from memory) 3%, which is entirely accounted for by rising fees and rising postage costs built into sold prices (ie, 'free shipping); there wasn't a shred of real growth in the business. General online retail grew by 20% in 2016; Amazon by a whopping 48%. You still feel safe with Devin?

brian m • 28th March 2017 •


Alan Paterson • 15th April 2017 •