eBay will open a fulfillment center in Germany, according to newspapers there. Heise reports that the logistics center will create between 200 – 300 jobs and will open next spring.
eBay already operates fulfillment centers in the U.S., Canada, and UK inherited through its acquisition of GSI Commerce, which was later rebranded “eBay Enterprise.” Locations of its fulfillment centers, found listed on a page on the eBay Enterprise website, include three centers in Kentucky; one in Virginia, Nevada and Califoirnia; one in Mississauga, Ontario; and one in the UK.
There has been the occasional rumor that eBay will expand its fulfillment service, but up to now it has been content to focus on large retailers and international sellers. This year, eBay Enterprise said it was expanding its Enterprise offerings to “mid-market” retailers – but not by offering fulfillment services. Rather, eBay began offering a “ship-from-store” solution that helps make retailers’ in-store inventory available as online inventory that they can ship right from individual stores.
A spokesperson for eBay Enterprise did not respond to inquiries about whether the German warehouse would be limited to enterprise clients only, and whether eBay was working on broadening fulfillment centers to smaller businesses.
eBay rival Amazon.com operates a growing network of fulfillment centers worldwide to fulfill orders for its own ecommerce business and that of its third-party merchants. Unlike eBay, Amazon allows sellers of all sizes to participate in its Fulfillment By Amazon program.
Germany is an important market for eBay and for Amazon, which operates seven fulfillment centers there according to the Amazon.com careers website. Amazon has also faced criticism over how it treats its warehouse workers, with Germany a particular hotspot for criticism in the press and by unions.