Amazon is planning to open ten shops in the UK, selling food and drink products as well as electronics, homewares and beauty items.

The first “Clicks and Mortar” shop is to open in St Mary’s Gate in central Manchester next week. It will also offer Amazon Lockers so that customers can collect Amazon Internet orders.

The ten shops will be part of a year-long pilot project which has been launched with Enterprise Nation, which supports small businesses. As part of this partnership Amazon has said it will give 100 small online businesses their first entry into a high street bricks and mortar store. Other partners include Direct Line for Business ( Square.

Amazon UK’s country manager, Doug Gurr, said: “Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses, helping them boost the economy and create jobs across the UK. Small businesses are one of our most important customer groups.”

Emma Jones MBE, Founder of Enterprise Nation, which supports over 90,000 of Britain’s small businesses, said: “UK shoppers like to shop both online and in high street stores, and our intention is to help small businesses succeed by combining the best elements of online and high street retail.

“This new concept will provide small businesses with the space, technology and support to experience physical retail for the first time, while enabling customers to discover new brands on their local high streets.” 

The UK is still waiting to hear whether Amazon Go, its checkout-free grocery concept, will be expanded globally. At present the stores are solely in the US market but the portfolio has been expanded to a total of 11 so far.

Amazon also owns Whole Foods Market, which it acquired in 2017. The premium food store chain has seven stores in London.