Chinese retail giant Alibaba is making its boldest move yet to directly compete against sites like Amazon and eBay on their home soil. The company launched a new boutique online marketplace in the U.S. Wednesday that it hopes will gain a foothold in the country’s $262 billion online retail sector.
The new site, called 11 Main, allows merchants to sell boutique products in categories such as fashion, jewelry and crafts. For now, it’s more of a Etsy competitor than an Amazon foe.
“The 11 Main experience was really created and inspired by that Main Street shopping experience,” says Mike Effle, president and general manager of the business. “It’s really positioned as a hand-selected collection of speciality shops and boutiques.”
The site is Alibaba’s first substantial attempt to break into the U.S. retail market. In China, Alibaba is an unprecedented tech giant that generated $248 billion in retail transactions in 2013,
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