The programme, in partnership between Enterprise Nation, will enable more than 100 small online businesses to sell on the high street for the first time in 10 Clicks and Mortar pop-up shops across the UK.
The first opened on St Mary’s Gate in central Manchester today and will be followed by shops in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and across the south-east.
The pop-ups will provide customers with the opportunity to discover and buy directly from over 100 small companies – from homeware and health and beauty products to food and drink and electronics – that have all built successful online businesses and now want to explore physical retail for the first time.
An independent research consultant has been commissioned to produce a detailed analysis of the impact of the year-long pilot, and will submit its findings to the government following the call for new ideas to develop the Future High Streets strategy.
Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, which supports over 90,000 of Britain’s small businesses, said: “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. 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 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.”
Amazon today announced a new £1 million Apprenticeship Fund to help small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs) selling on Amazon upskill their workforce through their own dedicated apprentices. The investment will help create over 150 digital marketing, business administration and customer service practitioner apprentices who will work full-time for SMEs selling on Amazon. The apprentices will receive a mix of in-work, online and classroom training for 15 to 18 months. Amazon will also provide training on how to build a successful e-commerce business, how to market and advertise products to customers and how to sell products to a global customer base. The fund is exclusively open to any brand-owning SME registered in England that currently sells on Amazon and has a turnover of less than £1 million.
Today also sees the launch of the 2019 Amazon Academy programme – a series of free events across the UK to provide hands-on, practical training to help small businesses succeed in the digital economy, in particular by growing their export sales. The first event is taking place at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Manchester, and will include training sessions from Amazon teams along with independent business, marketing and intellectual property experts.