eBay expands click and collect strategy in the UK, but may draw more attention to its tax practices
eBay has announced a partnership allowing customers to pick up purchases from select Argos outfits in the UK, whilst opening up its click and collect function for sellers.
The Argos trial will involve 150 outlets and 50 eBay merchants to start off with and is part of the US company’s vision to deliver “seamless shopping experiences across all channels”, said Devin Wenig, president of eBay, speaking in London this morning.
Wenig said eBay Now, which lets customers order items from retail partners and have them delivered in an hour, would rollout in Europe from the start of next year.
eBay also announced all its retail partners that use click and collect will be able do so on the platform in the next few weeks.
“We know from our data and our experience around the world, consumers love choice and this will given them an entirely new option for thousands of items that previously could not be delivered in this way,” Wenig said.
“This is a snippet of what is going to happen all around the world.”
According to data from eConsultancy, 40 percent of shoopers chose to use click and collect in Christmas 2012 and eBay believes this shows the high street isn’t dying as many have presaged.
Argos managing director John Walden said that very few UK retailers had the scale for delivery and local collection. “Most people have to resort to third party couriers, which adds cost,” Walden said.
“We think there are very few retailers who move non-food products… on a daily basis than Argos does.”
The added presence of eBay in the UK may draw additional attention to its tax payments. Reports last year indicated eBay only paid £1.2 million in tax in 2010 on revenues of £800 million.
It already does a lot of business in the UK outside of the eBay platform, thanks to its PayPal business.
eBay did not open up for questions during the press conference this morning.
But a spokesperson said: “eBay is no different from lots of other global businesses, which engage in legitimate tax planning so as to best serve customers, employees and shareholders.
“eBay comply fully with all applicable tax laws and regimes – including national, EU and internationally recognised OECD rules.”
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