This week has seen the opening of Amazon's pop up store in Manchester City Centre, which will initially run as a 12 month pilot scheme to help small businesses get a foot on the already oversubscribed high street ladder. The store will sell a wide range of products, including electronics, beauty and homeware, as well as offering Amazon Lockers for customers to collect their online orders.
To launch the concept, Amazon worked with various partners such as Enterprise Nation, Direct Line for Business and Square. Retailers will pay a nominal rent for a two-week period in the store, before being rotated for a new set of small business sellers. Amazon are also pledging to create 150 full-time apprenticeships through a £1 million apprenticeship fund, in a bid to support the growth of SMEs and boost their online sales.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Amazon’s physical presence on the high street. Amazon previously opened a retail space to promote their annual 10-day Black Friday sale, as well as opening a pop-up fashion store in central London last October. Their first UK grocery store, Amazon Go, is also on the horizon..
Amazon’s latest move comes at a challenging time for high street retailers with an increasing number of household names announcing economic struggles. Just this week, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has announced its fears of administration, whilst Boots has also declared plans to close up to 200 high street stores over the next two years.
Watch this space for more of our retail updates.
The Clicks and Mortar initiative will open 10 stores across the country, in which 100 small online businesses will have the opportunity to trade in a physical retail setting.