Published: Wed, June 05, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Amazon to open 10 stores in the United Kingdom, starting in Manchester today

Amazon to open 10 stores in the United Kingdom, starting in Manchester today

Amazon has seen an opportunity for growth in the United Kingdom, seeing as rents are cheap out there on the high street beneath decaying signs that say things like "Maplin" and "BHS", and is backing the opening of 10 pop-up shops to test the public's appetite for carrying their new stuff home with them like in the old days.

In brief the pilot project will enable more than 100 small online businesses to sell on the high street for the first time, help small businesses upskill their workforce through a new £1m fund to train over 150 full-time apprentices, and provide free digital training at Amazon Academy events across the United Kingdom to help small businesses succeed online.

Everything from homeware to food and drink will be covered in the shops, focusing on online businesses looking to explore physical retail for the first time.

Altr for Men - CEO Alex Doyle founded his own brand of men's skincare products in 2017 and has built his business purely online: "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".

"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. The first opens today in Manchester and others will be in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and across the South East.

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Along with small business support group Enterprise Nation, Direct Line for Business and payments platform Square, Amazon has introduced a new scheme dubbed Clicks and Mortar. Many retailers argue that the rise of the group has been a key factor contributing to the plight of high street businesses.

The British High Street has a very unlikely saviour in the shape of Amazon following news that physical retail outlets are set to er, pop-up across the United Kingdom this year.

The e-commerce giant will open 10 shops in the United Kingdom as part of a year-long pilot, which will be monitored by an independent research firm.

With that in mind, the company announced a new £1 million ($1.3 million) fund to train 150-plus workers through a mix of in-work, online, and classroom coaching.

The "Clicks and Mortar" stores will feature otherwise online-only businesses selling through Amazon, and will also include Amazon Lockers from which customers can collect orders.

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