EBay UK is to launch a marketing drive to promote its style credentials and change customer perceptions as it prepares to debut a dedicated fashion area on its site next week.

The print and outdoor campaign - eBay’s first since Christmas 2008 - is designed to show customers how the business has evolved from being simply an auction site into a comprehensive fixed-price brand and retailer offer too.

EBay communications director Richard Kanareck said the initiative is designed to build on the company’s growing fashion clout. He said eBay is already a strong player in online clothing and can be bigger.

In the etailer’s fourth quarter the worldwide annualised gross merchandise volume for the clothing, shoes and accessories category was about $7.1bn (£4.68bn).

The new fashion area will have the look and feel of a specialist fashion site, starting with between 15,000 and 20,000 fixed-price products at up to 70% off the retail price from retailers including Superdry,Debenhams and Republic, which already sell on eBay’s Outlet area that launched last year.

Kanareck said that the promotion of more fixed-price offers followed customer feedback and the business as a whole is shifting from its traditional auction roots.

“Currently, 56% of items sold globally on eBay are sold at a fixed price, while only 44% are sold at auction,” he said. “Buyers and sellers increasingly tell us they like the speed and simplicity of fixed price. What they come to eBay for is the deal, regardless of buying format.”

Separately, eBay UK managing director Mark Lewis has left the company after six years.

No direct replacement has been sought; Clare Gilmartin will take up the position of vice-president marketplaces, EU, later this month after returning from maternity leave.

Gilmartin has been with eBay for six years and held a similar role across the UK and Germany businesses before her maternity leave.