Baton Rouge businesses sell $1.5M in merchandise through eBay’s Retail Revival program

Baton Rouge retailers that participated in eBay’s Retail Revival program have sold more than 20,000 items with a gross merchandise value of $1.5 million, local and eBay officials announced today.

Since the program launched in May 2019, Retail Revival has worked with 65 businesses in East Baton Rouge Parish that have sold merchandise to more than 9,500 consumers in all 50 states and in 77 countries. Baton Rouge is among just five U.S. cities participating in the program.

The city-parish inked the public-private partnership with eBay last year in an effort to help traditional local businesses effectively compete in today’s digital economy, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s office said in a prepared statement. The eBay program is among a string of P3s that have also included the Baton Rouge Procurement Opportunity Partnership, Resilient Restart EBR and Keep BR Serving.

No incentive package was offered to eBay.

“[The retailers] have continually inspired us with their innovation and tenacity—qualities that undoubtedly served them well in navigating the many natural and societal challenges of the past year,” says Marni Levine, eBay’s vice president of seller operations engagement, in another prepared statement.

Of the 65 participating businesses, which span 10 product categories ranging from fashion to home and garden, 29% were women-owned, 26% were Black-owned and 13% were veteran-owned.

Meanwhile, the eBay@Home program, which eBay officials announced was coming to Baton Rouge at the same time they unveiled plans for the Retail Revival program, has hired “several dozen” people, says Veneeth Iyengar, assistant chief administrative officer.

As part of eBay@Home, an initiative allowing eBay employees to work from home, the e-commerce giant was supposed to bring 40 full-time customer service jobs to the city. Employees receive “full-time benefits and locally competitive pay,” eBay announced at the time, in addition to five weeks of paid, virtual-classroom and on-the-job training.