Online opportunity

Amazon’s Clicks and Mortar shop opens in Edinburgh mall

Frankie Kerr-Dineen’s posters business is among the online retailers at the Clicks and Mortar shop (pic: Terry Murden)

Amazon has opened a Clicks and Mortar shop in Waverley Mall, Edinburgh, this weekend as part of a UK-wide pilot launched in conjunction with the small business support organisation Enterprise Nation.

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.

The pop-up shops give 20 small online firms a two-week opportunity to meet customers and promote their goods.

Eilidh Earle-Mitchell and Michael Corrigan of travel pilloew company Trtl have taken space (pic: Terry Murden)

More than 100 online brands will feature in 10 pop-up shops across the UK. 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.

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones, who announced during an entrepreneurs’ festival in June that Waverley Mall was under consideration, said: “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.

“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.”

Bob Kirkpatrick of Wee Blue Coo, one of those taking space (pic: Terry Murden)

The first cohort in Edinburgh runs from Saturday (10th) until 23 August and those taking part include Trtl, the travel pillow company, whose founder Michael Corrigan said it was an opportunity to meet customers and receive feedback on the product.

Bob Kirkpatrick, who founded the Wee Blue Coo posters and greetings cards company with his wife Joelle, said it would give them a chance to assess whether a physical store would work for the business.

Simon Donegan, head of seller services at Amazon, and Emma Noble, Enterprise Nation (pic: Terry Murden)

Frankie Kerr-Dineen, who turned her seven year old modern art prints business The Native State full-time three years ago, said: “It was too good an opportunity to miss.”

The second cohort runs from 24 August to 6 September and the third is for 1 week only from 7 -13 September.

Amazon support for SMEs

A free event aimed at helping businesses across Scotland increase their online sales, build their brand and reach new markets by boosting international exports is coming to the Amazon fulfilment centre in Dunfermline on 20 August. The event is free to attend but space is limited and registration is required.

Back for a third year, the Amazon Academy, run in collaboration with small business support network Enterprise Nation, will offer local entrepreneurs and SMEs free workshops with information, tips and insights on how to use e-commerce to grow their business as well as boost export sales and improve customer experience.

The event, held in Dunfermline for the first time, will feature advice and help for local SMEs from experts in business, technology, marketing and more.

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