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John Lewis partnership to help develop future retail technologies

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The John Lewis Partnership is working with investment fund TrueStart to find and fund the products, services and technologies which will define how we live in the future.

Through the Eureka Initiative, a partnership between TrueStart and the John Lewis Partnership, the owner of John Lewis and Waitrose will give the startups in TrueStart’s accelerator programme the chance to put their ideas and technologies to work in a retail environment, from the shop floor to the website.

One startup that will benefit is Photospire, now in discussions with the John Lewis Partnership about how its platform, which enables retailers and brands to create real-time personalised video content, can be put to use in product recommendation videos that are tailored to individual customers.

Tom Athron, group development director at the John Lewis Partnership , said: ‘The John Lewis Partnership began life as a brave entrepreneurial experiment. By collaborating with TrueStart we will be supporting the future growth of our company by partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs and fast tracking their ideas. I firmly believe that all businesses focused on growth in a rapidly changing world will need a few eureka moments to thrive.”

Matt Truman, CEO at True Capital, the retail and consumer sector-specialist private equity firm behind TrueStart, said: “TrueStart looks to work with genuinely disruptive businesses that have the potential to inform real change in the retail sector. I am delighted to welcome the John Lewis Partnership on board as our latest strategic partner. By joining forces we can lean on our joint expertise to ensure that the retail industry keeps innovation at its core, transforming the fashion, home and technology sectors in these rapidly changing times.”

Ger O’Meara, co-founder and CEO of Photospire, said: “Working with the John Lewis Partnership will allow us to use real-time data and tell a story to each of its customers in a targeted, personalised and engaging way. Having access to the right people was only possible because of the partnership between TrueStart and the John Lewis Partnership.”

The Eureka Initiative between the John Lewis Partnership and TrueStart will complement the JLAB incubator currently run by John Lewis, which aims to deliver a broader range of new products and services across the department store portfolio. It has also uncovered technology-based solutions to some of John Lewis’s operational challenges.

John Lewis is an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, while Waitrose is a Leading trader in the same study.

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