John Lewis is continuing to stake its claim to be one of the most tech-focused and forward looking retailers and has announced a deal with TrueStart, Europe’s only independent retail and consumer accelerator and investment fund. They’ll find and fund “the products, services and technologies which will define how we live in the future.”
The partnership between the two is called The Eureka Initiative and it will enable startups within TrueStart’s own accelerator programme, The Collection, to gain exposure to John Lewis’s own retail capabilities, with the aim of bringing the best ideas to commercial reality.
What does that mean in practice? “It will build on the spirit of experimentation upon which the John Lewis Partnership was founded and nurture never-seen-before products and services – from the drawing board to customers via the shop floor and website.”
One startup that will benefit is TrueStart-backed, Photospire. It’s a tech platform that enables retailers and brands to create real-time, personalised video content for its customers. It’s in talks with John Lewis regarding activation activities that target the brand’s customers with product recommendation videos tailored to individual customers.
The aim is that The Eureka Initiative will complement John Lewis’s incubator currently, JLAB, which aims to deliver a broader range of new products and services across the department store portfolio and has already uncovered technology-based solutions to some of John Lewis’s operational challenges.