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JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS SEEK INNOVATIVE IDEAS TO DELIVER MORE INSPIRATIONAL AND IMMERSIVE IN-STORE SHOPPING EXPERIENCES

Applications are now closed

Find out more

The Challenge

John Lewis & Partners are seeking innovative step-change ideas to deliver more inspirational, immersive and personalised in-store shopping experiences that:

• Give customers a differentiated reason to visit our shops

• Create peak moments of emotional engagement for our customers

• Support John Lewis & Partners to realise tangible commercial results (e.g. conversion)

Innovations could be used by our customers, or our in-store Partners, or both, and ultimately must support us to find incredible new ways to make shops relevant destinations for our shoppers to delight in.  

EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL

John Lewis & Partners is a leading omni-channel retailer in the UK with 51 shops and online business – Johnlewis.com.

Loved and trusted by our customers, our department stores have been the cornerstone of our business for over 150 years. As customer expectations rapidly evolve, it’s critical we continue to reinvent our physical shops to be the very pinnacles of future experiential retailing.

As a Partnership of 83,000 co-owners, we are even more driven to deliver exceptional service for our customers. Our Partners (i.e. our staff) are a key source of differentiation and it is paramount that we find innovative ways to empower them to deliver more unique and personalised experiences for our customers.

John Lewis & Partners is a leading omni-channel retailer in the UK with 51 shops and online business – Johnlewis.com.

Loved and trusted by our customers, our department stores have been the cornerstone of our business for over 150 years. As customer expectations rapidly evolve, it’s critical we continue to reinvent our physical shops to be the very pinnacles of future experiential retailing.

As a Partnership of 83,000 co-owners, we are even more driven to deliver exceptional service for our customers. Our Partners (i.e. our staff) are a key source of differentiation and it is paramount that we find innovative ways to empower them to deliver more unique and personalised experiences for our customers.

Key requirements:

This challenge is open to any start-up or established business which has a proposition that aligns with the above objectives and also meets the following criteria:

• Has knowledge of the John Lewis Partnership company values and John Lewis & Partners brand
• Is able to demonstrate their idea and its unique value to customers within the John Lewis & Partners shop environment on pitch day (to take place outside of London)
• Is able demonstrate ideas that are scalable, sustainable and can be integrated into end-to-end customer experiences
• Is willing to openly share information and work collaboratively together with John Lewis & Partners
• If selected, is able to run a trial within our ‘test-bed’ stores (maximum 3, UK wide stores) with minimal integration requirements

Specifically not sought or required are propositions that target ‘transactional’ needs/processes (e.g. appointment booking, payments, discounting, returns), and/or are time bound ‘gimmicks’ that demonstrate no sustainable impact on the Customer Experience (shop based partners (e.g. self-serve tools))

Why JLAB?

JLAB, the startup innovation programme from the John Lewis Partnership, is back for a fifth year and if you have a great idea or technology we’d love you to be part of it.

JLAB is one of the UK’s largest retail tech innovation programmes in the UK and the John Lewis Partnership is famous for innovative products, services and our unique employee ownership model. Run for the first time this year in association with True – Europe’s only retail and consumer sector specialist, operating across the entire investment vertical  – we are inviting startups with disruptive tech to join our JLAB journey. This journey will help take your business to the next level and build relationships with the two of the UK’s leading retail brands, John Lewis and Waitrose.

2018 will see lots of changes to JLAB and for the first time it will be run as an all year-round programme. We will also be launching later in the year a number of new activities for those who aren’t a business so watch this space for more details….

 

“The John Lewis Partnership exists today because of the extraordinary vision and ideals of our founder, John Spedan Lewis. He believed in experimentation and openly encouraged it. Today this ethos lives on and it’s up to each and every one of our Partners to ensure an environment for this to happen is created. JLAB is one of many great examples of us doing just that and in 2018 it’s never been more important for the Partnership to nurture innovation both inside and outside our business. We want to build entrepreneurs of the future.”
- John Vary, Futurologist at the John Lewis Partnership
What’s on offer?

Businesses taking part in JLAB 2018 can access the following, based upon their business needs:

A chance to pitch your business to key decision makers from John Lewis & Partners

Possibility to co-develop and trial your solution with John Lewis & Partners

Access to an extensive network, customer base and insights of John Lewis & Partners

Possible investment from the JLAB fund at the end of the project

Office space in John Lewis & Partners central London HQ and Waitrose & Partners HQ in Bracknell and at True’s central London Innovation Hub

Programme Timeline
10:00 29th October 2018
APPLICATIONS OPEN

23:59 25th November 2018
APPLICATIONS CLOSE

Late February 2019
PITCH DAY

JLAB IDEA DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME BEGINS

OUTCOMES ANNOUNCED

“Accessing the expertise of John Lewis and Waitrose Partners through JLAB was a real privilege for WeFiFo and securing their backing is certainly the most significant milestone in our journey so far. We were inspired by the people we worked with and were very fortunate to discover so much shared purpose and passion. We used our time with JLAB to cement strong foundations and we will now build on these as we enlist the help of the Partnership in our search for and celebration of the country’s most talented home cooks.

Seni Glaister, CEO and co-founder of WeFiFo”
“JLAB has given us a peek behind the curtain of two of the country’s biggest retailers and an invaluable insight into how they handle delivery. The opportunity to run two pilots across the Partnership has equipped us with the product know-how we needed to make that final mile of delivery even more straightforward for consumers and retailers. The investment signifies a big step for our business.

Bea Warner, co-founder and CEO of Exaactly”
“Working with John Lewis was a turning point for the business because we got real insight into what retailers are looking for.

Digital Bridge”

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Applications are now closed

About us

The John Lewis Partnership operates 50 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 353 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11.5bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 85,500 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose has 353 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 66 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers and waitrosegifts.com for gifts. In recent months, Waitrose has been awarded the much-coveted European-wide Compassion in World Farming ‘Best Retailer Award’, Soil Association’s ‘Best Organic Supermarket Award 2017′ and The Drinks Business’ ‘Retail Buying Team of the Year Award’.

John Lewis operates 50 John Lewis shops across the UK (36 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. John Lewis, ‘Best In-Store Experience 2017’, ‘Best Furniture Retailer 2017’, ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2017’* stocks around 350,000 separate lines in its department stores and johnlewis.com across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

*GlobalData Retail Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2017

True (www.true.global) is Europe’s only retail and consumer sector specialist that operates across the entire investment vertical. Formally True Capital and TrueStart, which were established in 2013, True has total funds under management of £200m and invests in retail and consumer sector business models which represent the future of the industry.

True’s Live Network model brings together its private equity companies, startup innovators, investors and leading industry partners to add value, both strategically and operationally, across the retail and consumer spectrum.