Ebay's bet for fashion pays back

eBay fashion instinct is proving to be accurate, with its fourth quarter boosted for a second consecutive period by a market-beating performance in its fashion category, with sales of clothes, shoes and accessories on the UK e-commerce site

at 10% above the British market average for this category.

Not only for attracting new customers, but to beat Christmas retail's nightmare, the e-commerce site boost its Q4 sales by 170 % compared to the previous quarter, as it launched a seven day price-comparison promotion which aimed to beat the prices of rival retailers. Also eBay's limited-time fashion sales site, Ebay Fashion Vault, has helped out the parent company to climb within the online marketplace, where handles more than $5billion in shoes, apparel and accessories.

Ebay's bet for fashion pays backClare Gilmartin, Vice President of eBay Europe, said: “While other retailers have suffered from the tough trading conditions and arctic weather, eBay UK has outperformed both the online and offline markets.“These results are the clearest indication to date that we have become a serious Fashion player in the UK. In the run up to Christmas, up to five million people a day logged onto the site with shoppers snapping up nearly 1.4 million gifts in a single day.”

Fast-growing sales from its new fashion business -launched April 2010, helped online retailer and auction house eBay to post an 18% surge in underlying full-year net income, as the company released 21st January. It's fourth-quarter revenues grew 5% to US$2.5bn, or 10%, excluding VOIP player Skype, eBay said.

In the UK, the company said its Fashion Outlet business is delivering 10% higher revenues than e-commerce (according to internal eBay data). Revenues also recorded a double-digit increase as the company’s new fashion business outperformed the market in the UK and Germany, and “performed well” in the US. eBay said UK fashion sales were 10% above the UK market average for the category, with total sold items up 25% by volume and 19% by value (gross merchandise volume).

The retailer launched its eBay Fashion Outlet business in the UK in 2010 and has so far attracted 30 high street names and more than 180 brands, including L.K. Bennett, Ted Baker, Karen Miller, Superdry, Firetrap and Ed Hardy. “These results are the clearest indication to date that we have become a serious fashion player in the UK,” said Clare Gilmartin, vice-president, eBay Europe.

Financial Times advanced that with six “celebrity stylists” already advising shoppers on its US fashion site, Ebay has now recruited a veteran fashion publishing executive as its creative director, tasked with ensuring its pages resemble a fashion boutique rather than a bargain basement. Andrea Linett, who co-founded Condé Nast’s Lucky magazine in 2000, will be responsible for the “image, voice and editorial style” of its clothing, shoe and accessory fashion pages, according to the company.

Ebay is also preparing for a high-profile promotional push about a partnership with Derek Lam, the US designer, focused on next month’s New York Fashion Week, which will lead to a collection of Mr Lam’s designs being sold exclusively on the site, published FT.


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