John Lewis Partnership is expanding its JLAB retail tech innovation programme and running it throughout the year
The programme, which was originally a one-off 12 week innovation scheme, will now provide
three chances in 2018 for both established businesses and new startups to participate, with the first pitch focused on health and wellbeing.
Waitrose joined the JLAB programme in 2017 and is setting the first challenge this year. Given Waitrose's position as a leading food retailer, it is looking for customer facing, digital propositions that provide customers with advice and inspiration that make it easier for
them to lead healthy lifestyles and eat more healthily.
These new business ideas will complement a raft of initiatives Waitrose is currently launching which make it easier for customers to make healthy choices.
Successful applicants will have access to a variety of benefits including expert advice and
mentorship from John Lewis
senior leaders, product validation from retail experts and customers, investment 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.”