Amazon’s move to offer space on its Web site to other retailers as part of a virtual mall strategy could run into trouble, experts have warned.

Last week, the firm’s US site opened a sporting goods department to add to its non-book offerings. Partner companies now include brand names such as Lands’ End and Golfsmith International, as well as specialists like

Amazon US is also expected to open a gourmet food section and a health and beauty area in the run up to Christmas.

But the strategy could backfire because of Amazon’s trend for massive discounting. According to the Wall Street Journal, Nike is one supplier that is unhappy about its partners selling through the Amazon system.

Any wider impact on e-tailing will only follow if other retailers copy the mall approach, said experts. Ovum analyst Myles Gorton said: ‘Amazon wants to become the global one-stop shop, but the problem is getting enough suppliers to buy in.’

Butler analyst Alan Lawson added: ‘Other big brands will resist this, because it will detract from their own e-efforts.’