1. Technology & Innovation

’Tis the season for shopping and romcoms: RTIH runs back the week’s coolest retail technology plays

RTIH Editor, Scott Thompson, brings you his top ‘future of retail’ systems launches and deployments from the past week, including Amazon, Pinterest, Aldi, Walmart, HMV, New Look, TrusTrace, One Water, Polytag, BERSHKA, and 3DLOOK.


Amazon has opened a Second Chance Store in London, giving festive shoppers the chance to buy quality returned products in-person, for the first time.

This is located at the Brunswick Centre in Central London, and features deals on a wide range of returned products. Customers can shop for kitchen and household appliances, books, games and toys, electricals and more.

Amazon offers quality returned products year round online at Amazon Second Chance, which also provides customers with information about product repair, recycling and trade-in for electronics.

The store is open for the next two weeks in partnership with Barnardo’s, with all proceeds supporting its work with children and young people.

Amazon Fresh

Amazon has opened an Amazon Fresh store in Notting Hill, London.

This is its 20th in the UK market and 19th in London, with the non-London location situated in Sevenoaks, Kent.

To enter the store, customers walk through a non-gated entrance and shop for what they need.

When done, they can either scan their in-store code (via the Amazon app) at the exit gate or tap their credit card. Customers can also use one of three self-checkout tills for an extra option.

And they can pick up and return items purchased online from the in-store Amazon Hub counter, with QR code.

DoorDash and Best Buy

DoorDash has announced a new partnership with Best Buy to offer on-demand delivery of consumer electronics from all the retailer’s US locations.

Best Buy is the first national consumer electronics retailer available on the DoorDash marketplace, building on its expansion into new categories beyond restaurants.

One Water

Polytag has announced a new partnership with One Water, a UK-based ethical hydration brand, that will see its unique QR codes printed onto selected products to incentivise recycling and provide insight into the lifecycle of the brand’s packaging.

The collaboration follows Polytag’s partnerships with Ocado, Co-op and Aldi.

New Look

TrusTrace has announced a partnership with New Look, a fashion retailer in the UK and Republic of Ireland, to help the company gain greater visibility across its supply chain through suppliers and assist in identifying responsible sourcing and business continuity risks.

“New Look is the first major UK retailer to join forces with TrusTrace, marking a major milestone in our pursuit to make global supply chains traceable, circular and fair,”  says TrusTrace CEO and Co-Founder Shameek Ghosh.

“TrusTrace facilitates data collection from Tier 1 through to Tier 4, enabling New Look to access granular, validated product data to support its sustainability goals. This partnership will contribute to New Look’s ‘Kind to our Core’ mission by helping them make informed decisions to enhance responsible sourcing.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with TrusTrace to gain deeper visibility through to our Tier 4 suppliers, helping us to further mitigate any supply chain risks,” says Sue Fairley, Head of Sustainability at New Look.

“We’ve already made incredible progress through our ‘Kind to Our Core’ sustainability programme – as evidenced in our recently released 2023 Sustainability Report – and it’s just the beginning.”

Ikea UK

Ikea UK has announced the national roll-out of over 70 additional mobile pick-up points in partnership with Tesco.

Through the service, shoppers can collect their online Ikea orders from a designated area in the carpark of participating Tesco stores – with orders over £100 free to collect and £5 for all other orders.

This follows a pilot launch of the scheme last year and the trial of 12 mobile pick-up points.

The gradual expansion is now underway, with over 70 new pick-up points planned throughout various regions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are all set to be live by autumn 2024.


3DLOOK, a specialist in AI powered mobile body scanning and virtual try-on solutions, has announced a partnership with BERSHKA, a fashion brand under the Inditex (ITX) umbrella.

The tie up aims to reduce return rates for the brand, boost conversions and sales by eliminating the sizing guesswork online shoppers face, and simultaneously provide interactive shopping experiences to young tech savvy consumers.

BERSHKA will leverage 3DLOOK’s virtual fitting room YourFit, to provide accurate size and fit recommendations, as well as an engaging virtual try-on experience, directly on its website.

Customers can now choose an item and click on a “See how it fits me” widget to be voice guided in real-time through a quick and easy camera-based flow.

Using a front and side photo of the customer, the solution’s precise 3D mapping technology and size recommendation engine then offer instant feedback on what size would fit best and provide an accurate and photorealistic virtual try-on experience.


Walmart is this holiday season bringing together shopping and watching romcoms.

The retailer is launching “Add to Heart”, enabling customers to find holiday gifting inspiration while tuning in to the 23-part shoppable series, pitched as a RomCommerce of sorts.

The series will be released on TikTok, Roku and YouTube starting on 2nd December, with the remainder dropping on 5th and 8th December.

“The holidays are such a special season. We know gifting and curling up to watch a favourite Christmas movie are part of so many families’ traditions. So, what better time to launch an innovative, first of its kind shoppable series,” said William White, Chief Marketing Officer, Walmart U.S.

“‘Add to Heart’ is a fun, unique way for our customers to be entertained while shopping for the great deals on top brands that they expect from Walmart. We hope they enjoy it and the amazing gifts they order throughout.”

Fossil Group

Fossil Group is using NewStore’s technology globally across its Fossil, Fossil Outlet, and Watch Station stores.

The lifestyle accessories company has replaced its legacy store solution with the NewStore mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) solution, which will be live in hundreds of locations across 19 countries once the project is complete. 

Fossil Group is putting an app powered, digitally connected retail experience in the hands of its associates, allowing them to assist and check out customers anywhere on the store floor with a mobile device. 


HMV’s flagship store has been reopened by ska/pop legends Madness on Oxford Street following a four year hiatus.

The retailer closed its main London branch in 2019 after going into administration. It was then taken over by Sunrise Records.

The store at 363 Oxford Street opened its doors to the public on Friday. It had first appeared on London’s iconic shopping street in 1921.

According to a press release: “It will become a hub for entertainment in the capital and the largest entertainment outlet in London offering an unparalleled range of music, film, merchandise and technology products as well as performance spaces”.

Aldi and Pinterest

Aldi and Kevin The Carrot have teamed up with Pinterest to promote their new festive campaign.

Leveraging a series of Pinterest’s new ad formats for the first time such as Lead ad, Premiere Spotlight and Breakthrough video, Aldi’s campaign also marks a category first by featuring a secret board, giving users the chance to access a Pinterest board full of festive cheer. 

Users searching for Christmas inspiration will discover an animated ‘Golden Pin’ video which adopts a breakthrough technique to appear in the home feed, giving them exclusive access to the Secret Christmas Factory Pinterest board.

The invite mechanic behind the Golden Pin utilises the Lead Generation ad format and invites users to fill in their email and Pinterest handle, to be added to the secret board.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

The world’s first checkout-free store using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in a healthcare location, has launched in The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust – in partnership with One Retail and noviniti.

Part of the new two-storey Main Entrance and Admin Hub under construction at the Princess Royal Hospital, the Market Express store will be accessible to Telford patients, visitors and staff.


Mastercard has announced Shopping Muse, a generative AI tool that aims to revolutionise how consumers search for and discover products in a retailer’s digital catalogue.  

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