Posted: Mon 3rd Jun 2019
More than 100 small online brands will be given the opportunity to reach customers on the High Street for the first time in pop-up shops across the UK, thanks to a partnership between Enterprise Nation, Amazon, Direct Line for Business and Square.
The Clicks and Mortar initiative begins in the heart of Manchester city centre at St Mary's Gate where a shop opens today with 12 innovative small businesses (see the logos on the right) selling their products.
It will be followed by the opening of pop-up shops in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and across the South East.
Each Clicks and Mortar pop-up shop will provide customers with the opportunity to discover and buy a unique range of products from over 100 small businesses; everything from homeware and health and beauty products to food and drink and electronics.
The up-and-coming brands in the Manchester shop, that have all built successful online businesses and now want to explore physical retail for the first time, include:
Founders of Torro Cases, William Johnson and Michael Farnsworth, who produce their own range of quality leather cases for electronic devices, said: "Clicks and Mortar feels like a fresh route for hungry new entrepreneurs to reach a wider audience by combining the power of online shopping whilst also enabling customers to touch and feel our products."
Altr for Men founder Alex Doyle, who founded his own brand of men's skincare products in 2017 and has built his business purely online, said: "This gives us the first step in bringing the brand to life, letting customers be more interactive and giving them an opportunity to try and feel the product in the flesh."
Clicks and Mortar supporters
Since opening its stores to independent third-party sellers nearly 20 years ago, Clicks and Mortar supported Amazon has been a growth engine for millions of small businesses. In 2000, 3% of physical gross merchandise sales on Amazon came from independent third-party businesses. By 2018 this had increased to 58%.
Amazon has also today announced a new £1m SME Apprenticeship Fund to help small businesses selling on Amazon upskill their workforce in business, customer service and digital skills through their own dedicated apprentices.
In addition, the company is running free digital training at the Amazon Academy events delivered by Enterprise Nation.
Clicks and Mortar is also supported by leading payment services provider Square. Through the partnership, businesses owners selling in the pop-ups will get their own Square Reader and Dock to keep, and the first £1,000 of processing free of charge.
The third supporter is Direct Line for Business. Tenants need public liability insurance which protects them in the event of a customer making a claim. We have partnered with Direct Line for Business to provide this if they are not already protected.
Small firms can experience physical retail for first time
"UK shoppers like to shop both online and in High Street stores, and our intention is to empower local SMEs and help them succeed by combining the best elements of online and high street retail," said Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation.
"This new concept will provide small businesses with the space, technology and support to experience physical retail for the first time - enabling customers to discover new brands while giving these businesses the experience and confidence to potentially open their own High Street shop in the future."
Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, 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 in an affordable way, to funding the training of full-time apprenticeships and providing free digital training, Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses - helping them to boost the economy and create jobs across the UK."