Amazon is opening 10 pop-up stores across the UK to champion the products of more than 100 of its small business partners.
The etail titan will launch the first of the sites, operating under the Clicks and Mortar fascia, in Manchester today.
Amazon has joined forces with Enterprise Nation, Direct Line for Business and Square to roll out the temporary shops, which will also open in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and across the Southeast.
It said the year-long pilot was designed to allow more than 100 small online businesses to sell through a physical high street presence for the first time.
Independent research on the success of the scheme will be submitted to the government, following its call for new ides to develop its Future High Streets strategy.
As part of the project, Amazon will plough £1m into a new SME Apprenticeship Fund, which will help create 150 full-time apprenticeships at small etailers.
It will also provide free digital training to small businesses through the Amazon Academy, in a bid to help them boost export sales.
Last year, 58% of Amazon’s global sales came from third-party sellers, up from just 3% in 2000.
Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr said: “Small businesses are one of our most important customer groups and we’re thrilled to work with Enterprise Nation to design a comprehensive package to help entrepreneurs across the UK grow their businesses, both in-store and online.
“From giving up-and-coming online British brands the chance to experience physical retail, to funding the training of full-time apprenticeships and helping to increase SME exports, Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses – helping them boost the economy and create jobs across the UK.”
Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones added: “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.”