Online shopping giant Amazon has opened its first ‘Clicks and Mortar’ pop-up shop in St Mary’s Gate in central Manchester.
The shop is selling everything from food and drink to electronics, beauty products and homewares, as well as offering Amazon Lockers for customers to collect their orders.
Amazon plans to open 10 shops in total, saying there will be openings in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and the south-east.
They are part of a year-long pilot, launched in conjunction with the small business support organisation Enterprise Nation, that Amazon says will give 100 small online businesses their first taste of a bricks and mortar presence.
Online-only sellers that will feature include adult kick-scooter maker Swifty Scooters, the leather electronic device case seller Torro Cases and men’s skincare brand Altr. Many retailers have previously criticised the company as a key reason for the plight of the high street.
The move from Amazon follows fellow online retailer eBay last month opening a pop-up store in Wolverhampton, in which 40 small businesses displayed and sold their products.
In October, Amazon opened its first British fashion store, a pop-up in Baker Street, London, to seek shoppers’ views on its clothing ranges, prices and store experience.
Doug Gurr, Amazon UK’s country manager, said: “Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses, helping them boost the economy and create jobs across the UK. Small businesses are one of our most important customer groups.”
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, added: “UK shoppers like to shop both online and in high street stores enable customers to discover new brands on their local high streets.
“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.”