Clicks and Mortar

Amazon has made its first incursion onto the UK high street this week, opening a ‘Clicks and Mortar’ store in Manchester. This is part of a proposed roll out of 10 unbranded pilots stores across the UK. Amazon previously had a more modest high street presence in the form of its lockers, and these will also form part of the new stores. The rest of the offer is about bringing previously online-only brands to a high street marketplace. Due to its relatively low barriers to entry and easy contractual commitments, the online channel can be an attractive starting point for small businesses to seed their offering. However, due to limited supply of shelf space on the high street (compared with potentially infinite suppliers online), physical retail remains a better channel for funnelling in customers that sit outside target market segments, (particular those that arrive without a specific purchase intention). Coming in under the Amazon umbrella allows these businesses to be incubated on the high street in way that might not otherwise be possible.