Amazon is behind a new pop-up shop showcasing the wares of online sellers, which is coming to Waverley Mall in Edinburgh.
Clicks and Mortar will open to the public on Saturday August 10th and provide more than 20 online brands from across Scotland and the UK with the chance to meet customers, test new products and experience selling on the high street in an affordable way.
Small Business support network Enterprise Nation, in partnership with Amazon, Square and Direct Line for Business are behind the new venture which aims to feature brands that have all built successful online businesses and now want to explore physical retail for the first time.
In addition to meeting customers, testing new products and experience selling on the high street, the featured brands will be able to access on-site business advisers to help them scale, both online and in physical retail.
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Clicks and Mortar is a year-long pilot programme that will explore a new model to help up-and-coming online brands grow their high street presence.
More than 100 online brands will feature in 10 pop-up shops across the UK, with the latest shop opening to Edinburgh following Manchester and Cardiff. Independent research on the success of the pilot will be submitted to the UK Government following the call for new ideas to develop the Future High Streets strategy.
Clicks and Mortar Edinburgh will feature products from Scottish brands, including:
· Second Nature Online – Karen Riddick, founder of the family run business based in Dumfries that sells its own range of ethical furnishings and homeware, said: “Amazon has allowed us to increase our sales eight fold and expand our customer base across the UK and Europe. Clicks and Mortar is a great opportunity to experiment with physical retail and we see this as our next natural step – in fact we strongly believe that independent, online retailers could play a major role in the revival of our town centres and High Streets.”
· Trtl – inventors of the scientifically engineered travel pillow that has sold more than one million units worldwide, with half of their sales coming through Amazon, the Glasgow based business has built out its own range of travel products. Founder Michael Corrigan said: “This is a really exciting year for Trtl with the expansion of our range to include even more innovative solutions helping stressed-out travellers. The Clicks and Mortar store could not come at a better time and we will now be able to showcase our latest product, not yet on the market, exclusively to the Fringe audience in the UK so watch this space!”
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· Wee Blue Coo – Edinburgh based Wee Blue Coo provide stylish, unique and affordable art prints and greetings cards. Co-founder Joelle Kirkpatrick said: “Selling online has given us a truly global audience, but we welcome the opportunity Clicks and Mortar will provide us with to gain some insight into what having a physical store may involve, and if there is a market for our products in a high street setting.”
Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon said: “Amazon has been a growth engine for millions of small businesses around the world, and we’re thrilled to work with Enterprise Nation to help up and coming brands scale their businesses, both in-store and online.
“From giving up-and-coming online businesses the chance to experience physical retail for the first time, to funding the training of full-time apprenticeships and helping to increase SME exports, Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses in Scotland - helping them boost the economy and create jobs.”
“As well as providing these small online businesses with a physical space to trade for the first time, we’ll have advisers on hand from Scottish Enterprise to offer free advice on how to scale their businesses, both offline and online,” said Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation. “We feel it’s important to ensure Clicks and Mortar stores benefit not just the small firms and their customers, but also the wider local economy.”
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Clicks and Mortar is a collaboration between Amazon, Enterprise Nation, Square and Direct Line for Business, and the Edinburgh store is in partnership with Moorgarth, the owners of Waverley Mall.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming Clicks and Mortar to Waverley Mall," said Daryll Bunce, Director of New Revenue Solutions, at Moorgarth, Waverley Mall Shopping Centre's owners. "Incorporating this initiative in the mall is essential in supporting our drive for relevant innovation and ensuring that these small businesses are able to experience a physical retail outlet to form a part of Edinburgh's infrastructure."