A new online marketplace planned by eBay would give consumer brands a channel to sell goods directly to consumers, according to a new report by Macquairie Capital analyst Ben Schachter.
The new marketplace known as The Plaza is expected to allow top brands to sell goods directly to consumers without being grouped with sellers of second-hand goods. A retailer, Mr. Schachter told the Wall Street Journal, selling products in this environment would alleviate concerns companies might have about "weakening their brand."
Several reports said The Plaza was being modeled after Alibaba's Tmall. According to another Journal report, Apple recently opened a store on Tmall, which currently has more than 70,000 merchants selling directly to consumers. Gap and Nike also have Tmall stores.
The challenge, according to a TechCrunch article, will be for eBay to convince companies such as Apple to open storefronts on its site when they have robust online sites of their own. On the plus side, according to the same piece, eBay has been growing its eBay Stores business and has seen "strong adoption of its mobile apps."
According to TechCrunch, eBay did not exactly offer a denial when questioned about plans for a new marketplace. The company replied, "eBay partners with brands, designers and retailers - and sellers of all sizes - to help them grow their business. As such, we are always exploring new, innovative ways to help them market directly to eBay's global audience and connect them to the things they need and love. We don't comment on industry rumors or speculation."
If launched, how likely would an Alibaba Tmall-like marketplace work on eBay?