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Pop-up store helps city sales top £4m

By John Corser | Wolverhampton | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Businesses taking part in eBay's pioneering Retail Revival project in Wolverhampton have seen sales top £4 million.

Pat McFadden and Councillor Beverley Momenabadi with trader Anthony Wortley

The first eBay UK high street store, featuring products from Wolverhampton businesses taking part in the pilot programme, helped boost sales.

The pop-up shop at i10 in Railway Drive ran for a month.

Figures released today revealed participating businesses have seen 40 per cent growth in sales since the Retail Revival programme launched in September and sales for Retail Revival businesses more than doubled during the opening of the store

The shop occupied a previously vacant retail property, which Wolverhampton City Council has already re-let to a local business.

The partnership with the City of Wolverhampton is helping small retailers grow their businesses both online and offline, with 64 taking part.

The concept store offered participating small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to showcase and sell their products.

Sales were also boosted during May by a 20 per cent discount coupon for selected Wolverhampton-based sellers.

The pop up, themed ‘Home Grown by Wolverhampton’, also featured training seminars for local businesses as well as free educational events by local sellers including a make-up tutorial from Second Glace Cosmetics and a reptile ‘meet and greet’ by pet store HugglePets.

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Following the launch of the concept store, Wolverhampton City Council said it had experienced a spike in market interest for the previously unoccupied retail space.

eBay has also announced that it is sending two of the Wolverhampton businesses to Las Vegas to attend its fourth annual eBay Open event next month. Vintage book trader Pat Austin, of WVP Books and Vintage, and fashion business owner Vita Kreslina, of All Happy Customers, have both been selected to attend the high-profile conference after sharing their personal business stories with an independent judging panel.

The global event is the cornerstone of the eBay calendar, featuring Ted Talk-style keynote speeches, first-class networking opportunities and knowledge-building workshops for thousands of sellers.

Fiona Scarrott, owner of FizzBiz, said: “I thought the pop-up space was lovely, the approach to décor and the home grown concept was really interesting. I was honoured to be chosen to showcase my products in the space, particularly in the first week when there was a lot of hype.

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“I’m a small one-woman business and some of my products are really unique, so I was blown away to have them amongst the larger businesses involved. In my little area of the world, the Retail Revival programme has been fantastic. eBay has given me ongoing access to essential tools which have helped my business adapt. I’m a little fish in a big pond, but I’ve absolutely loved being a part of it.”

Matthew Ball, director of Second Glance Cosmetics, added: “Being part of eBay’s first UK pop-up store has been a fantastic experience for Second Glance Cosmetics. We were given the opportunity to showcase our products and also hosted our own make-up tutorial in the space, which we were really happy with.

“The Retail Revival programme has been executed really well and it’s been great for us to have support from eBay, because there isn’t much help out there for small businesses like ours.”

Rob Hattrell, vice president of eBay in the UK, said: “We’re immensely proud of our Wolverhampton sellers and the success of our first UK concept store. The pop up has helped demonstrate the interaction between physical and online retail and the role in which physical stores can play in driving separate, online sales.

“The best businesses are home grown and our store showcased local businesses, born and raised in Wolverhampton. Now, thanks to eBay’s Retail Revival programme, these local businesses have a shopfront on eBay’s global marketplace and unprecedented access to 180 million shoppers across the globe. We take immense pride in nurturing local businesses and want to show how eBay creates the perfect environment for UK small businesses to flourish.”

Councillor Harman Banger, council cabinet member for city economy, said: “City of Wolverhampton’s small and medium businesses have always shown fantastic entrepreneurial spirit.

“We are delighted we have been able to help them connect with a global brand like eBay and give them access to the expertise that has helped grow their businesses.

“The Home Grown concept store is another success story of the Retail Revival scheme and again demonstrates Wolverhampton’s can-do approach and determination to deliver new opportunities and skills for families in our city.

“It was great to see the store in action at i10 and it has helped reignite potential market interest in our available retail units at that city centre location.

“The opportunity to see eBay’s methods close up has also enabled us as a council to develop how our business support team connect and work with local entrepreneurs.”

Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden: “This has been a great partnership for small businesses in Wolverhampton. It has opened up a big opportunity for the city to partner with an internationally renowned business like ebay in order to extend the reach and sales potential of the many innovative businesses in Wolverhampton.”

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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