Amazon opens high-street shop to help online businesses
The initiative will see 10 stores opened across the UK, with 100 small online businesses trading within the shop on the high street for the first time.
Named ‘Clicks and Mortar’ the year-long pilot programme begins with a St. Mary's Gate in central Manchester.
A foldable adult scooter company, a smartphone accessories maker and a men’s skincare product maker are among the companies which will have their products on display at launch.
More ‘Clicks and Mortar’ locations in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and the South East are planned following the pilot.
An independent research consultant will produce an analysis of the pilot, which will be submitted to the government.
"UK shoppers like to shop both online and in high street stores, and our intention is to help small businesses succeed by combining the best elements of online and high street retail," said Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, which supports more than 90,000 of Britain's small businesses.
"This new concept will provide small businesses with the space, technology and support to experience physical retail for the first time, while enabling customers to discover new brands on their local high streets."
Amazon has already experimented with physical spaces with its Amazon Go, a checkout-free ‘convenience stores’ with 11 locations across the US.
“From giving up-and-coming online British brands the chance to experience physical retail, to funding the training of full-time apprenticeships and helping to increase SME exports, Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses – helping them boost the economy and create jobs across the UK,” said Amazon’s UK country manager Doug Gurr.