// Amazon launches Click and Mortar initiative to bring small online retailers to the high street
// 10 Clicks and Mortar stores will open across the UK
// 100 small online businesses will have the chance to trade on the high street for the first time
Amazon has launched a new programme that aims to put small online retailers on the high street for the first time with a series of pop-up shops around the UK.
The Clicks and Mortar initiative will open 10 stores across the country, in which 100 small online businesses will have the opportunity to trade in a physical retail setting.
The year-long pilot programme begins with the first shop opening on St Mary’s Gate in central Manchester today.
Amazon is expected to open the next lot of pop-up stores in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and the South East.
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, founder of Enterprise Nation, which supports more than 90,000 of the UK’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.”
The Clicks and Mortar initiative is not Amazon’s first experiment with physical retail.
In the US, it has a chain of bookstores and has opened four cashier-free Amazon Go convenience stores.
There is growing speculation that an Amazon Go store is set to open in London soon.
The online giant also acquired food retailer Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion (£10.88 billion) – and this includes the retailer’s small batch of stores in the UK.
“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,” Amazon’s UK country manager Doug Gurr said.