Case Studies

Successful Partnerships

Retail Week Live is the industry matchmaker; we connect, inspire and challenge the retail ecosystem to create efficient and purposeful businesses to succeed in a world that never stops changing by sparking ideas, partnerships and innovation.

To give you an idea of the sorts of partnerships and collaboration that you can expect at Retail Week Live this year, last year Retail Connected, brought to the industry by Retail Week, Retail Week Live, Be Inspired and World Retail Congress, was home to the Great Global Pitch Off, which was powered by our partner Co:Cubed and saw four groups of hand-picked start-ups from Retail Week Live’s Discovery zone pitch to a specific retailer on a set brief. 

Each start-up had two minutes to pitch to the retailer about how their start-up could help solve the specific challenge the retailer had, and the winning start-up won a paid pilot with the retailer. It was so interesting to hear about all the specific challenges that each retailer had and also how enthusiastic they were to hear about all the amazing innovations that each start-up was offering, not to mention exciting to see collaboration and business being done in real-time before our very eyes.

Here are the four exciting new partnerships that were forged at Retail Connected last year:

Asda - Intelistyle:

Asda’s Senior Director of Corporate Strategy, Debra Lees, set the start-ups the challenge of how they could help Asda enhance their in-store experience. Debra said “One of our big strategic pillars is around partnerships and how we use and grow our platform to develop through partnerships either in-store or online, that was something we were already working on last year and will be a big part of our strategic difference going forward as well… we know that most of our customers are still going into our big box stores and we want to reinvent what our big box retail looks like and we're working with partners to create that destination appeal. We really want to see new technologies that can enhance the experience for our customers and surprise and delight them.” Intelistyle won the pitch and Debra finished by saying “this was a great solution to the brief, we think it adds real innovation to our stores now and in the future and a real value for our customers as well.”

M&S - Hellodone:

M&S’s Head of Digital Strategy & Innovation Stuart Ramage opened up by saying he was looking for a partner to improve M&S’s omnichannel experience. He really emphasised the importance of partnering with start-ups for M&S when he said “one thing’s for sure, if there’s a problem we are facing into, you can be pretty well assured that somebody else somewhere is facing into the same problem” and that M&S see it as their task to make those connections with potential partners. The specific brief from Stuart was all about improving the customer experience in real time or having a positive impact on colleague efficiency and experience in the store environment and he was looking for scalable applications or solutions that were cost effective and would give benefit across the store estate. He was not interested in gimmicky technology but was looking for opportunities on software solutions that could deliver step change in customer experience in the store environment. The winning pitch came from Hellodone, and Stuart concluded the session by saying “where we are in our digital transformation, focused on establishing seamless omnichannel experiences, it has to be Hellodone”.

Chalhoub - Appointedd:

Chalhoub’s Innovation & Growth Manager Martial Dahan’s brief was all around looking for innovations that could improve their customer loyalty and retention. He stated that one of the key challenges for them was around driving the loyalty and retention of their VIP customers and he emphasised that Chalhoub sees real value in nurturing its relationships with existing customers; they already had a loyalty program and they were looking forward to finding new, scalable solutions which could enhance this proposition. Their most important criteria were looking for disruptive, innovative scalable solutions and Appointedd rose to the challenge and left the session with a paid pilot to work with them!

Tesco - Whywaste:

Tesco’s Innovation Director Tom Hebbert was looking for a solution to work alongside Tesco’s existing charity partners which would allow them to prevent food suitable for human consumption from being wasted. He was looking for solutions that would have the potential to drive a major change to help Tesco shoppers make more sustainable choices and something that Tesco could scale to make a meaningful impact on the global climate crisis. The winning pitch was from Whywaste, who specified exactly how their solution would work alongside their existing partners Gander and Olio in Tesco’s food waste reduction supply chain.
These are just a few of the partnerships that have been forged at our events so far, and we are looking forward to bringing the industry together again in May to kick-start this cross-industry collaboration at Retail Week Live once again. As you can see from these examples, the most forward-thinking retailers and brands are open for collaboration, and Retail Week Live is where this happens. To hear more from all our start-ups and to see our fantastic panel of retail expert judges in action, we look forward to seeing you at Discovery at Retail Week Live over 24-25 May!