1. Technology & Innovation

Why are Amazon Fresh stores fizzing out in the UK? These are last week’s most read RTIH retail technology articles

Check out the RTIH articles that caught your fancy last week, including Under Armour, Lacoste, Dsquared2, Ikea, Ocado Group, Co-op, Sweaty Betty, and Mars.

RELEX Solutions helps Getir ‘reap benefits of autonomous, adaptive, and unified supply chain planning’

Rapid grocery delivery firm, Getir, is partnering with RELEX Solutions.

This will see it gain an integrated suite of capabilities, including forecasting, replenishment and allocation, new inventory optimisation, clearance optimisation, and promotion forecasting. 

RELEX tech will be used in all of Getir’s stores and distribution centres worldwide to enhance product availability and freshness while reducing food waste. 

RELEX is also teaming up with delivery partner DemandTex, a consulting group that provides analytics and implementation services to retailers around the globe. This will play a significant role in implementing the solution and providing local support for Getir. 

Four reasons why Just Walk Out tech powered Amazon Fresh stores have flopped in the UK

RTIH looks at the key factors behind Amazon’s underwhelming entrance on to the hugely competitive UK grocery retail stage.

Amazon UK recently announced it was shutting three of its London-based Amazon Fresh checkout-free stores, including its first which only opened two years ago.

The e-commerce giant said the move was down to ‘optimisation decisions’ about its ‘portfolio of stores’, but added that it still plans to open new locations in London this year, one of which will be in Moorgate.

Here’s our take on why Amazon now has just 17 Fresh outlets left – 16 of which are in London, and the other at Sevenoaks in Kent. Way off the original target of 200+ by the end of 2025.

A pay by palm milestone: The retail technology news you might have missed last week

Failed to keep up with the breaking retail technology news last week? Then have no fear as RTIH has you covered. Here are the major stories that you need to know about. Includes Amazon One, Whole Foods Market, Co-op, Starship Technologies, Yum! Brands, Uber Eats, Sweaty Betty, and NewStore.

Mars teams with Valtech and commercetools for composable commerce powered D2C initiative

Mars is laying claim to “the world’s most comprehensive example of composable commerce in play for multi-brand enterprises going direct-to-consumer (D2C)”.

As a result of the deployed solution, delivered by Valtech in collaboration with commercetools, Mars claims to have boosted incremental in-year revenue for a leading snacking D2C proposition by 20% YoY.

“With our composable commerce platform, we now have the technology foundation to support mms.com, the largest D2C business in Mars Snacking,” says Jarid Lukin, Global Senior Director at M&M’S.

“This technology not only improves our ability to offer personalised M&M’S to consumers and businesses, but it also gives us the speed and agility to launch new value propositions to celebrate those you care about in a fun and meaningful way.”

London’s brilliant: Under Armour deploys connected fitting rooms at new Oxford Street store

Under Armour has unveiled a new Brand House on London’s Oxford Street.

The location, which opened on 20th July, is the latest in a series of Brand House openings following Westfield Stratford, Battersea Power Station, and Liverpool ONE.

The design of the Oxford Street store is inspired by the City of London and the London Underground. Existing structural elements in the space are cladded with hand crafted local tiles in black and white, with the brand logo applied to represent how Under Armour is strongly connected with London and its athletes.

“This renowned retail location represents our dedication to delivering an exceptional retail experience to our valued customers, and we are thrilled to join the esteemed brands already on Oxford Street,” says Kara Trent, Managing Director EMEA at Under Armour.

“We are a growth brand, and the Oxford Street Brand House marks an exciting milestone for Under Armour as we expand our presence in the UK and the wider EMEA region.”

Connecting the dots between virtual and physical retail: Lacoste launches new summer themed experience, developed by Emperia

Emperia has announced the launch of Lacoste’s new summer virtual store.

Containing elements exclusively available to Le Club Lacoste and its UNDW3 (Web3) members, the brand says it is aiming to “create a deep sense of community and shopper loyalty appreciation by offering a unique retail experience that extends beyond its physical stores”.

Strolling from the beach and straight into the crocodile mouth, shoppers will be able to explore Lacoste’s latest summer collection of clothes, shoes and accessories.

A short elevator journey leads the users to an outdoor space, featuring additional product offering, all in a pool deck setting that overlooks the beach.

Throughout the experience, visitors will be able to explore a crocodile scavenger hunt that leads them to an underwater VIP space, accessible exclusively to Le Club Lacoste and UNDW3 members, unlocked by an e-mail login or a Lacoste NFT.

Ikea UK aims to get closer to customers with launch of new Plan & Order Point in Preston, Lancashire

Ikea UK has opened a Plan & Order Point in Preston, Lancashire.

This is a smaller store dedicated to kitchen and bedroom planning, which customers can visit for home furnishing advice and expertise to help design their ideal space.  

The launch marks the third opening of this format in the North West of England, following its introduction in Aintree last December and Stockport in March. It comes as part of the retailer’s bid to become more accessible for customers shopping with it across the region. 

Let’s not do this! Retailers see the funny side as Twitter rebrands to X and bins iconic bird logo

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few days, you’ll know that Twitter has rebranded to X as part of Elon Musk’s plan to create an “everything app” incorporating audio, video, messaging, payments and banking.

The, erm, colourful tech billionaire, who took over the platform in October 2022, replaced the famous blue bird with a new logo on Monday, and redirected the domain X.com to Twitter.com.

The move has divided opinion, with Musk’s legion of fanboys as per usual labelling him a genius, and others poking fun at the decision to junk the one thing Twitter still had going for it.

The latter group included a number of retailers. Click here to see some of our favourite retail takes.

Luxury apparel brand Dsquared2 enlists Astound Commerce for launch of online flagship store

Dsquared2 has partnered with Astound Commerce to launch a new online flagship store.

Eager to exercise complete ownership over its online storefront and e-commerce operations, Dsquared2 says it wanted to provide “a high touch, fully localised, and seamless online experience where customers in every market enjoyed the same level of service and convenience if shopping locally”.

It required a swift turnaround time to implement its D2C solution, just 16 weeks.

Astound leveraged its proprietary accelerator, Launch360: Storefront, to reduce cost and speed time to market, upgrading the company’s legacy Salesforce Commerce Cloud implementation to a fast, modern reference architecture. 

AutoStore to stump up £200 million as it resolves retail technology legal battle with Ocado Group

Norwegian robotics specialist AutoStore is to pay £200 million to British online grocery retailer and tech supplier Ocado Group as part of a deal to settle all outstanding patent litigation claims.

Both companies licence their technology to retailers and had been involved in legal battles to defend their intellectual property.

They are now able to use and market all their own existing products without challenge.

AutoStore will pay £200 million Ocado in instalments over a two-year period. No reason was given for this payment.

The agreement does not allow for collaboration, technology support between the companies, or access to actual products.

It does, however, grant access to both the companies to certain portions of each other’s patent portfolios for them to use or manufacture their own products.

Ikea rolls out SES-imagotag VUSION IoT cloud platform and electronic shelf labels across European stores

SES-imagotag has entered into an agreement with Ikea to deploy its VUSION IoT Cloud platform and smart electronic shelf labels.

The first part of the contract spans over 110 stores in six European countries.

The roll-out builds on a partnership forged between the two companies over the past years.

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