eBay is launching its first UK store, albeit temporarily, this Christmas to allow shoppers to browse in the physical world before buying online.
The pop-up boutique opens in London's West End for just five days from 1 December in what is expected to be the peak buying period for the year.
Dubbed a "Quick Response (QR) code shopping emporium", eBay is luring in prospective buyers with the promise of up to 70 per cent discounts.
But while consumers can saunter about the store for Christmas tat deals, they can only buy online using a smartphone or some other connected mobile device. Each product has its own QR code, said eBay.
"Shoppers simply scan the QR code with their smartphone to make their loved ones’ Christmas wishes come true – no tills, no queues, no bags, no stress. Using your mobile phone, you can literally complete your shopping in a matter of clicks," gushed a spokesperson.
The online trader expects 5.8 million shoppers to log on during the five-day fest, with sales forecast to peak at 30 gifts per second (GPS), up from 16 in the same period during 2010.
It expects 120 gifts to be purchased every minute on a smartphone.
The hybrid store model will not, however, help disappointed recipients of unwanted gifts return them after Christmas. ®