Amazon’s Marketplace Concept Spreads To Other Retailers

by MR Magazine Staff

Crate & Barrel, taking a page from Inc., is partnering with outside sellers to boost the number of items available to shoppers on its website. The home-goods chain this week is adding items to its online assortment, such as kitchen tools and other small appliances, that it won’t handle or ship. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy’s Inc. are among the other retailers that have opened their e-commerce sites to third parties as a way to expand their reach with consumers. On Amazon, an early adopter of the concept, half of the items are offered by third-party sellers. “The benefit to the consumer is huge, because now we have a much wider assortment and more options,” said Michael Relich, Crate & Barrel’s chief operating officer. With the marketplace model, retailers can increase the number of items they offer, giving them a bigger presence in a field crowded with e-commerce offerings, without forking over cash for inventory. But it also runs the risk of damaging the retailer’s brand if there are any problems with an order from an outside seller. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.