This week eBay UK announced the launch of its first Retail Revival program in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton. This program is designed to help small retailers to get online. It will give them all the tools they need to sell on eBay’s global marketplace and compete in a 21st-century retail landscape, demonstrating that online and high street retail can survive and thrive together.
The program follows the success of similar eBay initiatives in Germany and Italy and two Retail Revivals launched earlier this year in the US, in Akron, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan.
This week, eBay UK VP, Rob Hattrell joined Wolverhampton Councillor John Reynolds, the Cabinet Member for City Economy, to announce the partnership at local business, Goodstart Jones, who will be one of the small businesses participating in the program.
“We know that customer shopping behaviour is changing – but online should play an important part in helping businesses in our local communities to thrive,” Rob Hattrell said “I’ve seen that Wolverhampton businesses have the creativity, matched with the entrepreneurial skill, to create products needed and wanted all over the world – and eBay will help them to sell in the way they want to online. We should be very proud of the incredible strength of the small businesses of the UK and must seek to empower them more.”
Known in the past as a powerhouse of heavy industry, the City of Wolverhampton is engaging in a number of economic development efforts, which this 12-month partnership will complement. eBay hopes the initiative will boost Wolverhampton’s economy by helping local businesses harness the power of technology. A group of about 100 businesses from across Wolverhampton will receive dedicated customer service, onboarding assistance, promotional support and a tailored training program, teaching them the fundamentals of selling online.
The retail landscape in the UK has transformed beyond recognition and continues to change at pace. UK high streets, in particular, have suffered over the past few years, but eBay believes there are opportunities for retailers. Sellers are encouraged to combine the convenience of online with the tangible experience of a shop front, to build reputation and brand loyalty, whilst accessing a global customer base.
Welcoming the new initiative, City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Roger Lawrence, said: “I’m delighted a global brand like eBay has chosen to work with us on an initiative which is the first of its kind in the UK. We value our small retailers that bring so much character to our city center.
“eBay will provide valuable support to city retailers in the wake of a challenging national retail climate affected by changes in consumer behavior and the economy. It is an exciting program that will help businesses with their digital marketing and sales skills, giving them a solid platform for sustainable growth.”
This idea is to start a movement, and shift a mindset; staying local, but selling global.