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eBay launches temporary high street store

05 December 2011 - 12:29 by Graham Miller

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Online auction site eBay has turned the idea of safe shopping online on its head in order to create a high street outlet in the centre of London, at which consumers can buy products that would previously have been confined to the web.

It may seem like a step in the wrong direction, but eBay is hoping that this so-called pop-up shop will allow it to publicise its services and the small outlet based in Soho looks set to stay open throughout the Christmas shopping season.

The shop is no ordinary retail location because inside you will not find any tills. This is because the customer is encouraged to use their smartphone or tablet to access eBay's m-commerce site to place a bid for the products which are housed online.

Like many multichannel setups, the eBay shop is going to appeal to people who want the low prices available via safe shopping online, combined with the immediate access to products that comes with buying on the high street.

Of course the fact that you need a decent smartphone does slightly hamper the appeal of the store to those who might already know all about the ins and outs of e-commerce.

Experts believe that eBay will actually be opening more locations across the UK, which should be no problem given the number of bricks and mortar retailers which have gone out of business, leaving plenty of spare space for newcomers to set up their stalls.

Spokesperson, Miriam Lahage, said that the e-commerce company was not unaware of the irony of an online company entering the high street, just as the web was causing problems for real world retailers. However, she said that the lack of queues at tills would help ease stress amongst shoppers this Christmas.