March 27, 2014, 4:22 PM

eBay opens a new Canadian fulfillment center

The facility will open in Q2 and initially service eight retailers, including The Children’s Place.

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EBay Inc.’s e-commerce technology and services division, eBay Enterprise, today announced it will open a new 150,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Ontario, Canada. The facility will be the vendor’s second in Canada and its seventh in North America; eBay also operates one warehouse in Manchester, United Kingdom, a spokeswoman for the company says.

The new fulfillment center will pick, pack and ship orders for eight retailers at first when it opens in Q2, eBay says. It will support fast shipment of orders to Canadian consumers with the help of conveyors and “put-to-light” technologies inside the facility that speed the movement of packages and direct workers, eBay says. It has also designed the floor plan to optimize efficiency, based on analyses of its other fulfillment centers, the spokeswoman adds.

“The Canadian market is providing new commerce opportunities for brands and retailers and our clients are turning to us to support their growth strategies in this region,” says interim president of eBay Enterprise Tobias Hartmann. “We are committed to offering our clients the capacity, speed and scale required to deliver an exceptional experience to their Canadian customers.”

Globally, more than 70 brands use eBay Enterprise, formerly known as GSI Commerce, for their online order fulfillment, the vendor says. Twenty-four retailers in the 2013 Top 500 Guide and seven in the Second 500 report that eBay Enterprise handles their fulfillment. EBay acquired GSI Commerce in 2011 for $2.4 billion.

Children’s apparel retailer The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc., No. 112 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Top 500 Guide, will be one of the first clients to use the new warehouse, eBay says. According to The Children’s Place’s annual report for fiscal 2013, the retailer’s Canadian e-commerce sales last year increased to 8.2% of its international net sales, or about $19.5 million. That’s up from 5.2%, or about $13.1 million, in fiscal 2012.

For comparison, the retailer’s U.S. web sales in 2013 accounted for 14.8% of its U.S. net sales, or about $226.2 million. Globally, its e-commerce sales in the last five years have grown by more than 105%, from about $119.5 million in 2010 to about $246.1 million in 2013, the company reports. E-commerce accounts for about 14% of The Children’s Place’s total net sales today, it says.

The Children’s Place did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 20 largest e-retailers based in Canada grew their online sales in 2012 by nearly 28%, according to data from Top500Guide.com. That’s well above the 17.5% growth that year of the retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500, which ranks the leading North American retailers by their online sales, and the 15.6% growth of the Second 500, which ranks North America’s e-retailers Nos. 501 to 1000.

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