Business / Companies

Alibaba's first US presence 11 Main debuts

(Agencies) Updated: 2014-06-13 10:33

That's what Alibaba's hugely successful sites offer in China, Willis said.

"They're trying to come in to the US market and compete using that," she said.

Without ads or retailer fees, 11 Main plans to generate revenue by taking a 3.5 percent cut of each transaction. In return, retailers get 11 Main's national marketing power and reach.

"We want the shops to represent the diversity of Main Street. Some shops are high-end boutiques and some are more vintage," said Mike Effle, president and general manager of 11 Main. The company's name is intended to evoke bringing Main Street online. And the the "11" in its name is meant to represent the "1-to-1" relationship that customers and merchants have on the site, the company said.

Tiger Bachler is one of the site's beta vendors. She owns Alys Grace, a three-shop chain in California's Bay Area that offers upscale clothing and accessories like $175 Chan Luu scarves and $300 Diane Von Furstenberg dresses. The stores are well known in the area and the company already has an online presence at, but Bachler said it's hard to direct customers to the site because the company does mainly local advertising.

"We've been struggling with the ability to reach a large audience being a small business," she said. "We anticipate (11 Main) will be able to give us a wider audience with their marketplace expertise and marketing power."

The site is going to begin as invitation-only when it launches on Wednesday. Consumers can request an invitation at

Alibaba's first US presence 11 Main debuts Alibaba's first US presence 11 Main debuts

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