At least 50 merchants using the online marketplace will participate in a trial of the service, which will enable eBay customers to collect their goods from a choice of 150 Argos stores. The companies said the trial (expected to last six months) was delivering what customers wanted in terms of choice, convenience and speed as a study reported a continuing decline in store numbers on the UK’s high streets. Its statement cited research from Econsultancy that 40% of UK shoppers used some form of click and collect service over Christmas 2012.
Devin Wenig, president of eBay, said: “At eBay we continue to find new ways to connect buyers and sellers. Traditional retail isn’t going away; it is transforming. Smart retailers are innovating, re-imagining the store and what it means to shop. We’re proud to join Argos on this journey. Their unique store network and operating model is fit for serving customers in a digital future. This exciting pilot takes us one step nearer to our goal of offering customers an inspired and seamless shopping experience.”
John Walden, managing director of Argos, added: “With the continuing growth of online shopping, customers increasingly expect faster, cheaper and more convenient fulfilment of their orders. Few companies move as many products as effectively as Argos through a national network of local stores, served by friendly and well-trained colleagues. Having pioneered click and collect in the year 2000, it now accounts for around a third of our business and continues to grow. eBay, an innovator in digital and leading online marketplace connecting sellers and consumers, is already a strong partner with Argos and a logical partner for the trial. We look forward to assessing the opportunity for Argos to provide fulfilment for eBay’s merchants, including the operational requirements, attractiveness to sellers and consumers, and opportunity for increased customer footfall.”
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