In-store online shopping hits the Sheffield high street
Shoppers are being given the chance to discover up-and-coming online brands on the high street, as part of a new initiative aimed at boosting businesses.
Small Business support network Enterprise Nation, in partnership with Amazon, Square and Direct Line for Business, has opened the UK’s fourth Clicks and Mortar pop-up shop on Pinstone Street, Sheffield. The shop will feature more than 50 small online brands from across the UK who will be meeting customers and selling on the high street for the first time.
Clicks and Mortar Sheffield will give shoppers the chance to discover products from up and coming British brands, including homewares, food and drink and fashion. The featured businesses have all built successful brands selling online and now want to explore physical retail as part of their future growth.
The Clicks and Mortar shop will include Sheffield-based apparel and accessories firm Kelham Print and Ashbourne-based kids’ waterproof brand Spotty Otter. All the featured brands have already built successful online businesses and now want to explore physical retail as part of the Clicks and Mortar pilot programme.
As well as selling directly to customers, building awareness of their brand and learning from other growing businesses, the sellers will all be able to access on-site business advisers to help their success.
“After launching Clicks and Mortar stores in Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff, we’re excited to open our latest venture in Sheffield,” said Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation.
“Shoppers can come in store to meet a selection of up-and-coming local brands, while the sellers can attend business training events that will be delivered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) as part of a partnership with Business Sheffield. The Clicks and Mortar programme aims to remove friction for small businesses selling on the High Street and we look forward to welcoming the people of Sheffield to the new shop.”
Clicks and Mortar is a collaboration between Amazon, Enterprise Nation, Square and Direct Line for Business, and the Sheffield store is in partnership with the Sheffield Business Improvement District.
“We are delighted to welcome Clicks and Mortar to Sheffield - the initiative helps give small local businesses the experience of selling on the high street for the first time,” said Suzy Brain England, Chair of Sheffield Business Improvement District. “Clicks and Mortar is a perfect example of how existing city centre spaces can be used more flexibly to create interest and engage visitors. It will provide our city centre shoppers with a really unique offer.”
The year-long pilot programme will see pop-up shops opened across the UK, enabling small online businesses to experience selling on the high street for the first time. Amazon has commissioned independent research to assess the impact of the pilot, which will be submitted to the Government in 2020 following calls for new ideas to help inform the Future High Streets strategy.
“As a proud Yorkshireman, I know that Sheffield is home to some fantastic up-and-coming businesses with great brands and exciting products,” said Doug Gurr, Amazon UK Country Manager. “Clicks and Mortar is part of Amazon’s commitment to support the growth of small businesses across Yorkshire and the UK – helping them to grow their brands both online and in physical retail, as well as boosting the economy and creating jobs.”
Since opening its stores to smaller, independent brands such as these nearly 20 years ago, Amazon has been a growth engine for millions of small businesses around the world. In 2000, 3 per cent of physical gross merchandise sales on Amazon came from third-party businesses. By 2018 this increased to 58 per cent, following years of heavy investment in technology, infrastructure and selling tools to help them grow their business. Tens of thousands of UK- based small businesses now sell their products on Amazon’s global sites, helping to support more than 80,000 UK jobs and achieving more than £2bn in export sales in 2018 alone.
Local businesses that want to apply to take part in Clicks and Mortar can find out more information here.