Amazon is due to open 10 “Clicks and Mortar” pop up stores across the UK, aiming to help small online brands break into the high street.
In partnership with small business support group Enterprise Nation, Amazon is launching the new pilot scheme for a year enabling more than 100 small online businesses to access to the high street.
The year long Clicks and Mortar pilot scheme will showcase brands which have built successful online businesses in physical pop-up stores on high-streets across the country, starting in St Mary’s Gate in Manchester today ahead of further openings in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South East.
As part of the UK Government’s Future High Streets strategy, which has called for new ideas on how to reinvigorate ailing high streets, an independent research consultant has been commissioned to produce a detailed analysis of the pilot to the government.
Amazon will also help companies selling on Amazon upskill their workforce thanks to a £1 million apprenticeship fund, which will help train over 150 full time digital marketing, business administration and customer service practitioner apprentices.
This fund is open to any brand-owning small business in England that currently sells on Amazon and has an annual turnover of more than £1 million.
Furthermore, today sees the launch of the 2019 Amazon Academy programme, which will see the world’s largest online retailer host various free events around the UK to provide hands on training for small business owners to succeed in a digital economy.
“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,” Enterprise Nation’s founder Emma Jones said.
“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’s UK country manager Doug Gurr added: “Small businesses are one of our most important customer groups, and we’re thrilled to work with Enterprise Nation to design a comprehensive package to help entrepreneurs across the UK grow their businesses, both in-store and online.
“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.”