LONDON (Reuters) - Online retail giant Amazon said it would open pop-up shops in Britain to give more than 100 small online businesses an opportunity to sell on the high street for the first time.
The first of the 10 stores, which are branded “Clicks and Mortar” and will sell homeware, health and beauty, food and drink and electronics, opens in Manchester, north England, on Monday, Amazon said.
The British high street has struggled in recent years, as major chains including Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have announced store closures. Others such as Toys R Us and Maplins have shut up shop entirely, with the rise of internet shopping one of the factors in their demise.
Amazon, which is working with small business support group Enterprise Nation on the project, said it would submit independent research on the success of the pilot stores to help develop the government’s “Future High Street” strategy.
“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,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon.
Amazon is also providing 1 million pounds ($1.26 million) to train over 150 full-time apprentices to help small businesses increase their productivity and boost their online sales.
Foldable adult scooter company “Swifty Scooters”, leather smartphone accessories maker “Torro Cases” and men’s skincare product maker “Altr for Men” are among the online brands that will be selling in the shops for the first time, Amazon said.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by David Evans