In Brief

The marketplace's Retail Revival program strives to help small businesses compete in a global environment as well as give the brand a competitive edge against Amazon, offering a curated selection of unique items

eBay’s recently launched Retail Revival program offers training and support to empower local entrepreneurs to boost their online presence and thrive in a retail landscape that is increasingly driven by ecommerce.

The program kicked off in March with 100 small businesses in Akron, Ohio, a market that eBay chose because the area had a strong tradition of manufacturing but had mostly been displaced over the last few years. This meant that the city was in need of revival.

PSFK spoke to Chris Librie, eBay’s Head of Global Impact and Giving, at a special event about the program. “There’s a real crisis in retail,” Librie said. “Retail stores are closing, retail traffic is going down as more people are shopping online. So to help address this, we created the Retail Revival concept.”

eBay’s Retail Revival program not only helps small businesses compete in a global marketplace, it also helps eBay better compete against Amazon. Offering a curated selection of unique items that cannot be found anywhere else online helps eBay move beyond its positioning as an auction platform for second-hand goods and establishes it as a bona fide retail destination.

“There’s still that great spirit of entrepreneurship and a real maker community in Akron, so we tapped into that.” Librie said.

Additionally, focusing on small businesses may present a promising white space in the ecommerce landscape, as Amazon increasingly moves towards offering the biggest brands for the lowest prices. As Librie said, eBay already has a strong tradition of enabling entrepreneurs: “Millions of people sell on the eBay platform, and many of them are highly successful businesses already, so we know we have this impact on the economy that’s tangible.”

In addition to a dedicated Retail Revival ecommerce hub on its website, eBay is providing these Akron entrepreneurs with a brick-and-mortar presence in NYC for a limited time this month. eBay has collaborated with retail concept store New Stand, who have reimagined the retail-kiosk experience. Takeovers of New Stand’s Brookfield Place and Union Square locations bring New Yorkers a curated selection of Akron-created goods, such as skateboard lamps from Whiskertin Lighting, all-natural health and beauty products from HandKraffted and miniature arcade games from Tiny Circuits.

Due to the success of the program, eBay recently announced an expansion to Lansing, MI, and will potentially enter other markets in the future.

eBay

eBay’s recently launched Retail Revival program offers training and support to empower local entrepreneurs to boost their online presence and thrive in a retail landscape that is increasingly driven by ecommerce.

The program kicked off in March with 100 small businesses in Akron, Ohio, a market that eBay chose because the area had a strong tradition of manufacturing but had mostly been displaced over the last few years. This meant that the city was in need of revival.

PSFK spoke to Chris Librie, eBay’s Head of Global Impact and Giving, at a special event about the program. “There’s a real crisis in retail,” Librie said. “Retail stores are closing, retail traffic is going down as more people are shopping online. So to help address this, we created the Retail Revival concept.”