Discount department store chain TJ Hughes has become the first national retail chain to open an online store with auction website eBay. Companies such as Heals, Vodafone and HP already use the site to sell excess stock, but eBay says TJ Hughes is the first to sell its core products.
The “eBay shop” is already selling as much as TJ Hughes’ own site. It sells 110 lines, including digital cameras, DVD players and perfumes, and also hopes to boost its profile.
Many of the items are also sold via eBay’s auction service, where TJ Hughes lists DVD players and digital cameras for as little as 99p before bidding starts. “Our deal with eBay has been designed to build awareness as well as boost sales,” said Muriel Stirling, marketing director at TJ Hughes, which has 44 stores around the UK.
TJ Hughes’ eBay operation was constructed by Improving Futures, a firm that specialises in helping companies and individuals sell more on the auction site. Its director Mark Craig says he is talking to more UK retailers about building eBay stores. “The site is like a global shop window, it offers a great opportunity to gain incremental business and new customers.”