The John Lewis Partnership has launched its latest retail accelerator.
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These are the five startups John Lewis is backing to be the next big thing in retail

The latest participants in the John Lewis Partnership’s retail tech accelerator have been revealed providing hints at some of the tech the retail group is backing to transform retail in the coming years.

Run in association with L Marks, the 12-week programme is now in its fourth year and sees each cohort developing their innovations and products with the retail giant and its team of industry experts and mentors.

For this year’s accelerator Waitrose will be joining John Lewis for the first time, providing more opportunities for collaboration for the startups working on disruptive ideas in retail and food.

The five successful startups chosen from over 300 applications include:

  • Smart grocery shopping app Mucho which provides personalised recipes and helps consumers order ingredients only when they need them
  • Intelligent addressing firm Exaactly which allows users to mark any location for delivery
  • Social hub WeFiFo which connects home chefs, supper club hosts and professional chefs with paying guests
  • Journifi, which provides personalised in-store shopping experiences based on a consumer’s online behaviours and tastes
  • Data analytics business BB1 which uses customer behaviour data to help retailers shape their stores and services.

According to the John Lewis Partnership, this year’s accelerator includes an even greater focus on female-led businesses, with three of the five participating startups led by a woman.

Paul Coby, Chief Information Officer at the John Lewis Partnership, welcomed the ‘fresh wave of innovators’ to the programme and said the retail group was looking forward to fast tracking some of their ideas into shops and retailers as quickly as they could.

He said “With Waitrose on board, JLAB now offers unrivalled expertise across two of the country’s leading retailers and this has sparked a record number of applications this year.

“We look forward to supporting and nurturing our five finalists as they shape and develop their products under the guidance of the John Lewis Partnership.”

Chairman of L Marks, Stuart Marks, added: “The companies enrolled in this year’s JLAB bring together some of the most exciting emerging technology across the fast-moving retail and grocery sectors, and I’m sure they’ll benefit hugely from the industry-leading insight that only John Lewis and Waitrose can provide.”

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