Marketplace giant eBay has agreed a deal with Argos to allow shoppers to collect online orders in the latter’s stores.

Customers will be able to pick up products from around 50 eBay merchants at 150 Argos stores and in a deal which Argos managing director John Walden said could pave the way to more tie-ups.

Walden said: “We think the unique capability that Argos has is distribution and store collection may become more and more relevant. There might be a model where Argos could provide these unique capabilities to others, traditional and online in the marketplace and that’s the purpose of the trial.”

“Rather than stores being a disadvantage, we believe our small, efficient stores are a strategic advantage.”

Walden said that very few retailers have a distribution and store network that are fit for multiple store distribution, collection and home delivery.

He said: “They don’t have the scale for that model. Certainly online retailers don’t have the scale. Most people resort to using couriers which is an additional cost which, in the environment of fast and free [delivery] is a subsidised cost. We think that’s an opportunity that Argos can help address.”

EBay president Devin Wenig said: “Traditional retail isn’t going away; it’s transforming. Smart retailers are innovating, reimagining the store and what it means to shop. We’re proud to join Argos on this journey. This exciting pilot takes us one step nearer to our goal of offering customers an inspired and seamless shopping experience.”