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John Lewis Introduces Retail Tech’s Future Stars

The JLab program grants talented start-up teams access to retail giant’s resources.

As technology continues to disrupt the retail industry as we know it, there’s always one question that’s at the top of the mind of industry executives: what’s next? The JLab program, from retailer John Lewis, has been working on that for the past several years. Now in its fourth year, the program grants talented start-up teams access to retail giant’s resources. As shared by Drapers Online, here are this year’s three retail finalists. 


First up is a start-up is known as Journifi, which aims to make the never-ending challenges of linking online and in-store shopping a lot less challenging.    

“Journifi uses smart data to identify customers who are browsing online but are unlikely to make a purchase. It then personalizes their online experience by offering tempting in-store experiences,” Drapers reports. “Imagine a fashion shopper browsing online – we can recognize if they are just window shopping and say: ‘Why don’t we give you a treat, like a taxi to the store or a glass of champagne on arrival?’” Peake tells Drapers.”

Bea Warner

Next up, Bea Warner found herself getting frustrated with online delivery problems to her rural address, so she set out to do something about it. Exaactly was born, and the goal is to make sure the last leg of delivery goes off without a hitch.  

“The start-up allows customers to personalize their online address book with detailed information, photos, and audio notes about their address to help drivers get it right, and also allows them to use GPS to mark any spot for delivery,” Draper continues. “The system is designed to be “retailer and carrier agnostic.”


Finally, BBI is digging deep on the data front, analyzing things such as passerby traffic and window shoppers, to help today’s retailers find the all important edge they need to succeed. 

“BB1 aims to give bricks-and-mortar retail an edge over online – it’s almost like Google Analytics for retailers,” says founder Justin Staines,” according to Drapers. “The data analytics solution uses customer behavior to help optimize how physical retailers work, whether that is how many staff are needed in store at a particular time or how much stock is required.”

John Vary, an innovation manager at the John Lewis Partnership, offered up some thoughts on this year’s exciting finalists.  

“It struck me that as much as these are digital propositions, they are always driven by the human experience and the human value,” he said. 

As always there’s a lot to get excited about for the future of retail tech, and one of these exciting young start-ups just may wind up being what’s ‘next.’ 

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