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intu to trial seven new technologies across 14 UK shopping centres

RBR Staff Writer Published 28 May 2018

Shopping centre owner and operator Intu has signed up seven start-up companies that will trial their technologies in its malls, under its Accelerate program.

These technologies will be trialled across 14 shopping centres in the UK month, as part of a start-up incubation intu Accelerate program.

intu has selected seven start-up companies out of 97 applicants and their ideas will be given shape initially before testing them. These ideas are claimed to change the future of retail and leisure at intu’s shopping centres.

The start-up companies have been invited to work with the intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre, where the ideas of the companies will be transformed into products and services over a period of ten weeks.

The start-up companies that have been selected include CarTap, which offers secure access to vehicles to deliver shoppers’ bags straight to their cars; Grid Edge, a firm that can save money and reduce carbon emissions by using artificial intelligence to control energy usage.

Other selected companies include Rhythm, a developer of multiplayer games for big screens that connect companies with crowds of people; WeFiFo, an online marketplace that connects amateur and professional chefs with paying guests;  Roialty, a hi-tech marketing platform that turns anonymous social media data into valuable customer insight.

The selected companies list also includes Greendeck, which uses AI to help fashion brands and retailers automatically classify products into categories and attributes; Yosh.Ai, which has developed a virtual assistant that provides a personal shopping service.

intu CEO David Fischel said: “intu Accelerate is now in its second year following the success of last year’s initiative which trialled retail robots, queue jumping apps, and online personal shoppers. It is once again being run in partnership with innovation specialists L Marks.”

The company stated that intu Accelerate is giving the seven businesses the opportunity to show how to do things differently through live trials that will also demonstrate the potential of their idea to shape the future of retail and create the perfect shopping experience.

Image: Primark’s store at one of intu Merry Hill. Photo: Courtesy of intu properties plc.