ONLINE retailer eBay is to open a Christmas “pop-up” store in London’s busiest shopping district.
The store, located on Dean Street – a stone’s throw away from Oxford Street – will not directly sell anything but will feature display models with codes customers can scan with their smartphone if they want to make a purchase.
It will open its doors for five days starting from 1 December and will also have an area fitted with tablet computers for people to browse its traditional online catalogue.
The move follows the opening of the first Google store in the UK, inside a PC World on Tottenham Court Road, where specialists are on hand to help customers with the new range of “Chromebook” laptops.
Online retailers look enviously at the unprecedented success of Apple’s high street shops, which arrived in the UK in 2004.
House of Fraser has tried something similar to eBay, opening a product-less shop in Aberdeen where potential customers can browse its website and pick up a free coffee.
EBay is looking forward to a bumper Christmas, with 5.8m people expected to logon to its website on 4 December.
High street retailers are bracing themselves for a more turbulent quarter, with analysts predicting relatively muted consumer demand in the face of tough economic conditions. Game Group was the first retailer to warn on its profits on Wednesday, sending its shares tumbling 46 per cent.