EBay Launches ‘Shoppable Windows’

Virtual stores rolling out in New York

EBay is launching virtual stores called "shoppable windows" in New York,  Reuters reported.

The nine-by-two-foot screens will be seen in visible shopping areas like Soho. The stores will sell 30 items from Kate Spade Saturday, a women's fashion retailer owned by Fifth & Pacific Companies.

For Fifth & Pacific, the screens are a way to maximize retail space. The company plans to integrate the technology into existing stores such as Juicy Couture and Kate Spade New York.

"This gives us the ability to produce more from our retail space," Fifth & Pacific CEO William McComb told Reuters. "My nickname for it is the Wall as a Mall."

EBay previously experimented with digital shop windows in late 2011, but those screens did not allow consumers to purchase items. The new displays will allow shoppers to order items via touchscreen and have them delivered within an hour via courier. Shoppers will then pay the couriers via the PayPal Here, a credit card-reading payment service developed by EBay.

TechCrunch compared the windows to the catalog retail counters of the 1980s.

EBay will test the windows from June 8 until July 7 at four Manhattan locations: 18th Street, Spring Street, Orchard Street and Gansevoort Street.