Amazon.com Inc.'s U.K. arm said June 3 that it partnered with small business support group Enterprise Nation to launch 10 pop-up shops across the country, enabling more than 100 small online businesses to sell on the high street.
The move is part of a yearlong pilot program called Clicks and Mortar, which will explore a new model to help budding online brands grow their high street presence. The online giant opened its first shop in Manchester and plans to open the rest of the stores in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and across southeast England. The stores will sell a range of products, including homeware, beauty and health, food and drink, and electronics.
The e-commerce company also announced a £1 million fund to train 150 full-time apprentices at small businesses to drive productivity and sales. Amazon is also running a free digital training at its Amazon Academy events focusing on increasing export sales.
Doug Gurr, country manager of Amazon UK, said the initiative will offer entrepreneurs "a comprehensive package" to grow their businesses online and in-store.
The initiative is also supported by payment service provider Square Inc., as well as Direct Line for Business, an insurance facilitator for the small business sector.