The John Lewis Partnership has announced that following a competitive pitch day for its retail innovation programme JLAB, it will continue discussions with six businesses.
The retailer is ‘seeking innovative ideas to deliver more inspirational, immersive and personalised in-store shopping experiences’.
Over 160 businesses entered the contest, with the chance of being selected to develop their ideas with John Lewis & Partners. Eleven were invited to pitch to a panel of 10 judges at John Lewis & Partners’ branch in Southampton, as well as a group of customers and John Lewis employees.
The final six selected are:
SeloyLive which aims to transform shop windows into huge interactive displays which customers can engage with and control from their fingertips.
Oriient which offers a new way for customers to navigate and explore larger shops directly from their smartphones.
Ruuby which allows customers to book beauty treatments at home, or any other location they choose – office, shop and even a hotel.
MemoMi which enables customers to virtually ‘try on’ fashion and beauty products, providing a way for them to access personalised recommendations based on their detailed image profile and preferences.
MakersCAFE which is dialling up personalisation through 3D printing and laser cutting on customers’ most loved products and gift purchases.
LettUs Grow which is embracing the use of retail space in its pursuit of a more sustainable approach to farming, and as a route to reinvigorating communities, through the shared joy of growing. Its technology, through the growing of plants without soil anywhere in the world, aims to ‘reimagine the world of farming and community gardening’.
John Lewis & Partners customer experience director Peter Cross 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.’
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. John Lewis & Partners operates 51 branches across the UK (37 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2). Waitrose & Partners has 349 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations.