John Lewis expands JLAB programme

John Lewis Partnership has decided to revamp its retail tech innovation programme, JLAB, with a focus on themes that are important to customers, and a series of activities launching later in the year.


John Lewis

For the first time in its five year history, the programme will run throughout the year, instead of being a one-off 12 week event. The first challenge, led by Waitrose, will look for established businesses and stratus that help customers have healthy lifestyles and eat more healthily.

Successful applicants will receive expert advice and mentorship from John Lewis and Waitrose senior leaders, get their product validated by retail experts and customers and benefit from the JLAB fund and office space.

John Vary, futurologist at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “As more and more businesses face digital disruption, it's increasingly important for the partnership to stay committed to the ideals of our founder, John Spedan Lewis, by experimenting and nurturing innovation both inside and outside our business.

“This is exactly why we have created a completely new JLAB for 2018. We wanted to take the programme to the next level by launching more events but with a focus on themes we feel are most significant to our customers as well as the future of retail. We're excited to see the market challenging ideas businesses will put forward.”

The 2018 programme will run in association with True, a retail and consumer sector specialist, operating across the entire investment vertical. Applications to pitch ideas opened on Wednesday 25 April and will close at midnight on 25 May.

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