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eBay extends Wolverhampton Retail Revival deadline

By Simon Penfold | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

Online marketplace eBay has extended the deadline for Wolverhampton firms to sign up for its pioneering Retail Revival programme.

Wolverhampton Council's John Reynolds and eBay's Rob Hattrell with the team at custom backpack maker Goodstart Jones, the first firm to sign up to the city's Retail Revival programme. Pictured (L-R): Paris Walker-Barnes, Goodstart Jones illustrator and designer, Rob Hattrell, eBay UK vice president, Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Council cabinet member for city economy, Goodstart Jones owner, Paul Jones, and Anson Carridice-Davids, Goodstart Jones lead designer

More than 60 small businesses from across the city have already applied for the UK pilot programme.

But, to try and attract even more, the deadline has been extended from Wednesday to this Sunday, October 14.

eBay announced a 12-month partnership with Wolverhampton council at the end of last month to help small retailers get online, grow the local economy and demonstrate that online and high street retail can coexist.

The partnership will see experts from the marketplace stationed in the city to provide exclusive support to small retailers who want to start up or expand their online presence.

The scheme comes on the back of new research commissioned by eBay and conducted by YouGov and Development Economics that shows onlu a quarter (25%) of small retailers do not have an online presence aimed at generating sales.

The research shows that were these businesses to close the ‘digital gap’, they could benefit from as much as £4.1 billion in extra sales revenue each year. This equates to £19,250 in additional annual revenue for each business currently without an presence online.

The partnership will see eBay helping businesses create their own eBay shop, provide training, promotion, customer support and a complimentary one-year Premium store subscription, which offers free listings, shipping supplies and other perks.

While the programme is running eBay will work with research consultancy Development Economics to assess its progress so it can draw up a blueprint that can be adopted by other UK towns and cities to bolster their retail businesses.

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Rob Hattrell, vice president of eBay in the UK said: “We know that customer shopping behaviour is changing – but online should play an important part in helping businesses in our local communities to thrive. 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.”

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 centre and we have recognised their achievements through the City of Wolverhampton Independent Retail Excellence (WIRE) Awards over the last two years.

“eBay will provide valuable support to city retailers in the wake of a challenging national retail climate affected by changes in consumer behaviour and the economy. It is an exciting programme that will help businesses with their digital marketing and sales skills, giving them a solid platform for sustainable growth.

“In an increasingly digital world, such skills are ever more important to business success and survival, complementing and boosting in-store, over the counter sales.”

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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