In a twist that no-one saw coming, Amazon, the mega beast that's eating retail alive, is trying to breathe new life into bricks and mortar.
If this works, it is a brilliant idea. One of the biggest problems facing emerging retailers is the high price of rent. If Amazon can lessen the burden on smaller product creators to create places for people to buy in-store; they may be able to drive purchases of more products, while stimulating retail environments.
To start with, they're looking at p[op-ups, but fast-forward a little while, is it so hard to imagine a major Amazon department store, where products that are best tested or sampled up-close are available for you to wander round? A mix of hyper local and international goods?
Will Amazon be the anchor tenants of the retail parks of the future. Interesting times indeed.
The year-long Amazon pop-up pilot program — which is couched as an exploration of “a new model to help up-and-coming online brands grow their high street presence” — will see more than 100 small online businesses selling on the UK high street for the first time via time-slots in ten pop-up shops which will each be open for between six and eight weeks.