eBay to Open Online Fashion Outlet
In an April 2010 RetailWire discussion about eBay’s move into upscale clothing and accessories with eBay Fashion, some questioned whether it was the right fit for the site.
Liz Crawford, president of Crawford Consulting, was one of those with doubts. "eBay is like the ultimate consignment shop … which is great, but not where you shop for off-the-runway fashion. Further, even calling it fashion is old-fashioned. In other words, they have no style or trend chops. See Zappos. See Piperlime."
According to a report by Women’s Wear Daily, eBay’s newest venture, eBay Fashion Outlet, may be more in line with what people expect. The service, which is currently available to consumers in Germany and in the U.K., will launch on September 19 with prices promoted as being 20 to 60 percent off retail. Most of the goods will be targeted to women between the ages of 25 and 44.
Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, told Internet Retailer, "It’s a great way for retailers to get rid of excess goods and it’s done very well in the U.K. and Germany. This could be a new channel for the fashion industry."
Among the companies signed up for the eBay’s Fashion Outlet are: Bluefly, Brooks Brothers, Custo Barcelona, Fila, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Spanx, Timberland and William Rast.
Retailers that sell through the eBay platform are responsible for fulfillment.
- Exclusive: eBay to Launch Outlet Site – WWD.com (Sub. required)
- eBay plans to add a fashion outlet for U.S. shoppers – Internet Retailer
- eBay Promotes One-Stop Fashion Shop – RetailWire
Discussion Questions: What do you think of eBay’s plan to launch an online fashion outlet center? What will this mean for brick and mortar outlet stores? Will Amazon or others follow eBay’s lead online?