John Lewis is kicking off activity for its 150th anniversary with the launch of its first technology incubator aimed at helping the retailer identify and develop technology innovations and keep it at the “cutting edge” of retail.
The project will see John Lewis work with technology entrepreneur Stuart Marks to select five start-ups to work in its incubator, dubbed JLAB, from June until September. While at JLAB, businesses will develop retail technology products and solutions, supported by John Lewis execs and external mentors.
John Lewis is hoping to work in three main areas: “helping customers shop”, “simplifying customers’ lives” and “knowing each other”. Suggestions include innovation around the internet of things, in-store innovation and real-time personalisation.
Andy Street, John Lewis’ managing director, says: “Our 150 year anniversary not only gives us the chance to reflect on our history but to look forward at how we shape the next 150 years. We have been head of the game in omnichannel retailing and through our JLAB incubator we will nurture the next generation of technology start-ups while helping ensure we remain on the cutting edge of retail change.”
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