Online shopping retail, Amazon, is coming to high street in Britain with a chain of pop-up shops selling everything from food and drinks to electronics, beauty products and homeware. The first of the 10 stores, branded “Clicks and Mortar”, opened on St. Mary’s Gate in central Manchester, north England, this week, with more stores in plan to open in Wales, Cardiff, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire, and across the South-East. The online retailer stated:
“The Clicks and Mortar pop-up shops will provide customers with the opportunity to discover and buy directly from over 100 small businesses – everything from homeware and health and beauty products to food and drink and electronics. The up-and-coming brands have all built successful online businesses and now want to explore physical retail for the first time.”
More than 100 stores are scheduled to open in a year-long Amazon pop-up pilot program thus giving small online businesses an opportunity to sell on the high street for the first time. The program ie being launched in conjunction with the small business support network Enterprise Nation, while Direct Line for Business and Square are also listed as partners for the pilot. Among the online sellers that will be present in physical stores for the first time there are the adult foldable kick-scooter brand Swifty Scooters, the men’s skincare brand Altr for Men, and the seller of leather cases for electronics devices Torro Cases.
The British high street has struggled in recent years, as major chains including Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have announced store closures, while other stores such as Toys R Us and Maplins have shut up shop entirely, the rise of internet shopping being one of the factors in their demise. Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager of Amazon stated:
“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.”