The first ever eBay concept store, which opened in Wolverhampton a month ago, has helped businesses taking part in its Retail Revival scheme reach £4 million in sales since September 2018.
The partnership with the City of Wolverhampton is helping small retailers grow their businesses both online and offline, with 64 local businesses increasing year-on-year sales by 40% since the programme’s launch last September. £4 million in sales is a doubly impressive figure, as the 64 businesses taking part had only generated £2 million in sales as of March 2019 – they’ve doubled their sales tally in the last couple of months.
The eBay concept store, located in the heart of Wolverhampton, offered participating SMEs the opportunity to showcase and sell their products for a month. Figures reveal that sales for the businesses taking part more than doubled during the opening of the pop-up store. Sales were also boosted during May by a 20% discount coupon for selected Wolverhampton-based sellers.
The pop up, themed ‘Home Grown by Wolverhampton’, also featured training seminars for local businesses as well as free educational events by local sellers including a make-up tutorial from Second Glace Cosmetics and a Reptile ‘meet and greet’ by pet store HugglePets.
eBay has also announced that it is sending two of the Wolverhampton businesses to Las Vegas to attend its fourth annual eBay Open event next month. Vintage book trader Pat Austin (WVP Books and Vintage) and fashion business owner Vita Kreslina (All Happy Customers) have both been selected to attend the high-profile conference after sharing their personal business stories with an independent judging panel. The global event is the cornerstone of the eBay calendar, featuring Ted Talk-style keynote speeches, first-class networking opportunities and knowledge-building workshops for thousands of sellers.
“We’re immensely proud of our Wolverhampton sellers and the success of our first UK concept store. The pop up has helped demonstrate the interaction between physical and online retail and the role in which physical stores can play in driving separate, online sales.
The best businesses are home grown and our store showcased local businesses, born and raised in Wolverhampton. Now, thanks to eBay’s Retail Revival programme, these local businesses have a shopfront on eBay’s global marketplace and unprecedented access to 180 million shoppers across the globe. We take immense pride in nurturing local businesses and want to show how eBay creates the perfect environment for UK small businesses to flourish.”
– Rob Hattrell, Vice President, eBay UK
eBay Concept Store’s longer term impact on Wolverhampton
Following the launch of the eBay concept store, Wolverhampton City Council had a spike in market interest for the previously unoccupied retail space, which has now been re-let to a local business.
“City of Wolverhampton’s small and medium businesses have always shown fantastic entrepreneurial spirit. We are delighted we have been able to help them connect with a global brand like eBay and give them access to the expertise that has helped grow their businesses.
The Home Grown concept store is another success story of the Retail Revival scheme and again demonstrates Wolverhampton’s can-do approach and determination to deliver new opportunities and skills for families in our city. It was great to see the store in action at i10 and it has helped reignite potential market interest in our available retail units at that city centre location.
The opportunity to see eBay’s methods close up has also enabled us as a council to develop how our business support team connect and work with local entrepreneurs.”
– Councillor Harman Banger, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy