Thursday, September 07, 2006

Auctionpost zegt dat retail Drop-Off model niet werkt

In een persbericht legt Auctionpost uit waarom ze van een model wilden overstappen naar de WePaYou/Auctiondrop model. (Ik zeg "wilden" omdat niet meer actief lijkt.)

Auctionpost Ltd, the British retail company who (were first to market in introducing) introduced the drop-off store concept to the UK, marks its one year anniversary by changing direction and revealing the facts on the drop-off store business.
Since September of 2004, Auctionpost has trialed the drop-off store idea in the West and North West London area. Establishing a ‘hub and spoke’ model opening two drop-off stores and a 5,000 square ft centralized processing and logistics ‘hub’ warehouse next to Heathrow.
From the start Auctionpost realized that although a simple concept, the process of volume selling for other people on eBay, and managing this from actual bricks and mortar retail units, was a complex process requiring highly organized systems and a specialized piece of software.

Hence the Directors began by scoping the bespoke processes and software which were to create the backbone of the business. Joining the eBay software Developers Programme was obviously a key step in the evolution of the business and their unique internet based (third party) software package.

Drop-off locations were chosen by using a specific criterion assessing the demographics (including eBay usage) of each area. The hub was located according to its accessibility for the drop-off stores and its communications and general transport infrastructure. The added value of the ‘hub’ site is its situation within the second largest trading estate in Europe.

Intelligent business and marketing plans were developed with the help of experienced professionals and individuals from a range of relevant disciplines. Each aspect was devised to be measured, and the results analyzed and fed back into the development of the business. – Basic stuff really in terms of starting a new business!

The conclusion after a years trading, refining and redefining the business model is that the retail drop-off store as a stand alone concept simply does not work. The math of resources to run a store against type and level of volume needed to break even, do not tally. In such a transparent market place it’s easy to substantiate this claim. Just take a look at the burgeoning drop-off store sites on and do your sums!

As a result Auctionpost have shut the shops and changed direction.

Keith Pearce (Managing Director) says

Quite frankly we are relieved to get out of the retail drop-shop arena. We can now concentrate on what we know works well. Working from our ‘hub’ (processing centre), we are developing our B2B (or business and industrial) (professional eBay consultancy) services which are in demand from (for) organizations wanting to improve or outsource their eBay selling, or to enter the market for the first time. As eBay developers we are also focusing on our third party software Programme which we know is completely unique as it is internet based”

Auctionpost will still operate its ‘drop-off’ facility for private sellers at the central ‘hub’ in West London next to Heathrow. Individuals can drop off items to sell as long as they meet the £50 eBay value bar. The ‘hub’ location also facilitates the selling of cars, motorbikes and commercial vehicles – which is becoming an increasingly lucrative business on

De grootste retail Drop-Off keten stond net in de blad van Oprah.