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John Lewis shortlists six start-ups for its innovation programme

The John Lewis Partnership has shortlisted six retail start-ups to its innovation programme JLAB, who could “transform how we shop in the future”.

Over 160 new start-ups and more established businesses entered John Lewis’ ‘experiential retail challenge’ with the chance of being selected to develop their ideas with the company. Some11 businesses were then invited to pitch to a panel of 10 judges at John Lewis and Partners in Southampton, as well as to a group of customers and John Lewis employees.

Following the pitches the businesses selected for the JLAB and programme were:

  • SeloyLive who transform shop windows into interactive displays which customers can engage with and control from their fingertips.
  • Oriient who are ensuring customers can navigate directly to the products they desire in our shops and unlock further exploration of the store experience through their smartphone.
  • Ruuby which allows customers to book the very latest beauty treatments at home, or any other location they choose – office, shop and even a hotel.
  • MemoMi who enable customers to virtually try on a huge array of fashion and beauty products, providing an innovative way for customers to navigate choice and access truly personalised recommendations based on their detailed image profile and preferences.
  • MakersCAFE who are dialling up personalisation through 3D printing and laser cutting on customers most loved products and gift purchases.
  • LettUs Grow who are embracing the use of retail space in their pursuit of a more sustainable approach to farming, and as a route to reinvigorating communities, through the shared joy of growing. Their technology, through the growing of plants without soil anywhere in the world, is set to reimagine the world of farming and community gardening.

Peter Cross, customer experience director at John Lewis and Partners, said: “Our search was for those entrepreneurs who might dare to think differently about the future of retail. Recent years have seen seismic changes in our sector, with a new benchmark in customer expectation every time they shop.

“Shops simply have no option but to inspire and delight customers – offering both fantastic products and personalised seamless experiences. We believe the dynamic new businesses selected for further discussions with JLAB will help us continue to stretch, shape and deliver together for our customers in the future.”

John Lewis said the JLAB theme builds on the “significant investment” it is making in product and service innovation and partner led services including personal styling, training for Partners, new appointment types, upgraded styling suites and dedicated fashion event spaces.

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