Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Kate Spade and eBay roll out a miracle of modern shopping

Kate Spade Saturday products will launch the newest retail revolution: 'shoppable windows.' Click on a window (a real one, attached to a building) and a courier delivers your Kate Spade merchandise within the hour.

By Alistair BarrReuters / June 17, 2013

A clerk works at a Kate Spade Saturday store in Tokyo in March. Kate Spade Saturday opened its first store in Tokyo, then debuted online in the United States and will soon be available from four 'shoppable windows' in trendy New York City neighborhoods.

Toru Hanai / Reuters

Enlarge

SAN FRANCISCO

Kate Spade is riding the wave of the newest business revolution: "shoppable windows."

Skip to next paragraph

The first four of these screens are launching this month in busy parts of New York City, such as the lower east side and Soho. They will sell 30 items from Kate Spade Saturday, a new fashion brand launched this year by apparel retailer Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc.

They're powered by online retail giant eBay, already a leader in redefining retail. In 2011, eBay set up a window display in New York City, but those storefronts did not let shoppers order products on the screen.

The new screens measure about 9 feet across and 2 feet high and will appear on the front windows of closed stores. Shoppers will be able to touch the screens to order and have Kate Space Saturday products delivered to them within an hour via courier. Payment will be accepted by the couriers through PayPal Here, a mobile payment service developed by eBay.

This is the latest effort by eBay to work more closely with large retailers that are looking to reach more online and mobile shoppers. The company has attracted some large retailers, such as Target Corp, to its online marketplace, while developing mobile shopping technology for other retailers such as Macy's Inc.

EBay's "shoppable windows" are an extension of the shift to mobile shopping, according to Steve Yankovich, head of the company's Innovation and New Ventures group, which developed the technology.

"This extends the boundary of the store. Suddenly the physical store, by virtue of online technology, extends to any space that's interesting to use," Yankovich said.

For Fifth & Pacific, the windows will help launch its new Kate Spade Saturday brand without opening new physical stores, at least initially, according to Chief Executive William McComb.

However, the company also plans to use the technology in existing stores of its other brands, such as Juicy Couture and Kate Spade New York, he added.

"This gives us the ability to produce more from our retail space," McComb said. "My nickname for it is the Wall as a Mall."

McComb said he is considering putting shoppable windows in small Juicy Couture stores that will offer about 200 different shoes to buy.

The company may also use the windows in Kate Spade New York stores to sell home furnishings, bedding, linens and towels.

"We would never be able to fit all those products in a store in the traditional way," McComb said. "These things would typically require an extra 10,000 square feet of store space. But through partnerships like this eBay one we could do this through stores that are 2,000 square feet."

(Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Editors' picks

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Endeavor Global, cofounded by Linda Rottenberg (here at the nonprofit’s headquarters in New York), helps entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Linda Rottenberg helps people pursue dreams – and create thousands of jobs

She's chief executive of Endeavor Global, a nonprofit group that gives a leg up to budding entrepreneurs.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!