Over the last year eBay’s brand has struggled a bit. It was hit with a massive security breach and announced that it was spinning out PayPal, a divorce precipitated by the overwhelming investor sentiment that eBay was holding PayPal back. Still, the company has show steady growth and profit, giving it the breathing room it needs to try and reinvent itself. Its newest adventure takes eBay into the world of offline retail: a partnership with the designer Rebecca Minkoff for a new “smart stores” in New York and San Francisco.
At the new Rebecca Minkoff store in San Francisco, the mirrors come alive. Walk into the fitting room with, say, a blouse and a jacket, and the dark glass lights up with a suggested handbag to match. You can browse the racks at the upscale fashion boutique or swipe through “looks” on massive touchscreens. If you see something you like, you tap in your phone number, and you’ll get a text when it’s ready to try on. From the sharp interface design to the seemingly seamless fusion of digital connectedness to physical retail, this place feels like the brick-and-mortar store of the future. But the brains behind it come from the online world. This Rebecca Minkoff store and a partner location in New York are opening for the holidays to show off eBay’s latest tech for re-inventing in-store shopping.
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