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E-tail giant eBay acquires same-day delivery service Shutl

London-based same-day delivery service provider Shutl is to be acquired by eBay, it was announced in the US yesterday (22 October).

The four-year-old logistics business, which works with a number of leading retailers in the UK and the US, will continue to provide its services on both sides of the Atlantic but is now looking to grow its offering further with the backing of one of the world's largest retail operations. The value of the takeover has not be disclosed.

Shutl came to prominence in 2011 when it started offering its 90-minute delivery service in a number of the largest metropolitan areas in the UK. The Aurora Fashions group, as it was known then, was one of the first retailer's to take advantage of the new rapid delivery option, and other businesses continue to benefit from the service today.

The Perfume Shop, for example, this month signed a gifting partnership deal with Shutl that will allow people to order products online and have them delivered to friends or family within 90 minutes.

For eBay, the acquisition of Shutl is seen as a crucial part of expanding its local delivery capabilities – and the speed of service offered by Shutl will help the e-tailer in its attempts to compete against some of the leading global multichannel retailers.

Commenting on the deal, Shutl founder and CEO Tom Allason said: "EBay's bold vision to redefine local commerce is one that fits perfectly with what we have set out to achieve at Shutl.

"Approximately 75% of commerce happens within 15 miles of the consumer's home. ECommerce is quick and convenient, two things that delivery is not. Together with eBay, we believe that we can transform this market and fulfil our mission."

At a Future of Shopping event in the US yesterday, eBay announced plans to expand its eBay Now fast delivery service to 25 markets by the end of 2014. Shutl will play a part in this roll-out, which begins with Chicago this week and will include Dallas by the end of the year.

The e-tailer also announced in-store product pick-up, which will allow consumers to order online and pick up their goods at local Toys R Us and Best Buy stores. More retailers are expected to be added to this list in the coming months.

In addition, a new scheduled delivery option will soon be launched which will enable customers to buy something on their mobile phone, choose a time that works for their schedule, and have their items delivered at that specific time.

Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces, explained: "The world is changing, with the lines between online and offline commerce blurring and the expectations of buyers and sellers rising rapidly.

"With eBay's latest steps, we are bringing together the best of what people need from a shopping experience – speed and convenience – with things people love about shopping, like discovery and inspiration."


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