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Ten pop-ups for Amazon in year-long Clicks and Mortar trial

Online retail giant Amazon is backing ten pop-up shops designed to help small brands reach customers through physical stores for the first time.

Working with small business network Enterprise Nation, payments company Square and insurance provider Direct Line for Business, Amazon will open the Clicks and Mortar stores across the UK, starting with a branch in Manchester.

Amazon would not disclose which design agencies worked on the project.

The stores are being described as a year-long pilot scheme that will enable more than 100 small online businesses to sell from high street stores for the first time. Independent research on the success of the scheme has been commissioned, and will be submitted to the Government following a call for new ideas to develop a Future High Streets strategy.

A £1m fund has been created to train more than 150 full time apprentices in helping SMEs to boost productivity and sales. Free digital training will be provide at Amazon Academy events.

“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 businesses, both in-store and online,” says Amazon country manager Doug Gurr. “From giving up-and-coming 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.”

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones MBE says, “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 of online and high street retail… 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.”

Brands taking part in the project include Swifty Scooters, Torro Cases, and skincare brand All for Men.

Retail experience expert Anthony Gavin, of agency Narvar, says: “Amazon making its foray on to the UK high street is another example of the ever-changing retail landscape. For quite some time the industry has separated online and offline shopping when, in fact, shopping today is fluid and continuous. There is no start or end to a customer’s path to purchase and beyond – instead it is made up of a number of touch points… for example dispatched delivery notifications in the post-purchase stage of an online order, that retailers can capitalise on to build customer loyalty. Now, with an online and offline offering Amazon covers many touch points for customers – providing them advanced convenience something we know is a great importance to shoppers today.”