These are the RTIH retail systems articles that caught your fancy during June, including Forever 21, Mattel’s Barbie brand, Secret Sales, Gopuff, Amazon Fresh, Asda, Salesforce, and JOKR.
Forever 21 x Barbie collection launches metaverse experience on Roblox
Fashion retailer, Forever 21, has announced a collaboration with Mattel’s Barbie brand.
A new limited edition collection includes a range of vintage style apparel items, swim, sleepwear, beauty, and accessories as well as home décor, inspired by the Barbie DreamHouse.
This will be simultaneously available in-store, online, and in the Forever 21 Shop City experience on Roblox.
Former Asos boss Nick Beighton joins online fashion platform Secret Sales
Nick Beighton, the former Asos Chief Executive, is returning to the online fashion sector and taking on the role of Chairman at Secret Sales, which helps premium brands sell surplus stock.
The company, which was bought by retail entrepreneurs Chris Griffin and Matt Purt just over two years ago, recorded sales growth of over 150% during the last 12 months.
It secured €10 million in funding in 2021. This has now been followed up with additional funding to accelerate its international growth strategy.
Secret Sales has operations in the UK, Netherlands and Belgium and plans to expand to a further 12 international territories over the next two years.
Gig economy startup Reflex closes $4.5m seed funding round
Reflex, an online marketplace that connects retail associates with brands in need of staffing help, has emerged from stealth and announced a $4.5 million oversubscribed seed funding round.
This was led by Indicator Ventures, with additional investment from Sugar Capital and Red Swan Ventures.
Asda taps Salesforce retail technology for digital transformation project
UK big four supermarket Asda is set to deploy Salesforce technology as it looks to give “a 360-degree view of its customers, providing personalized and tailored experiences that will revolutionize the consumer grocery experience”.
Leveraging Salesforce’s full retail suite, including Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud, Asda says it will create a cloud first environment that “gives its 18 million customers one connected and consistent experience across every channel and device, no matter where or how they choose to interact with the brand”.
The initiative comes as the business separates from Walmart.
Gopuff named as instant delivery partner for London’s The O2 arena
Quick commerce big hitter Gopuff has announced a tie up with The O2 arena in London.
It has been named as the O2’s Principal Partner and Official Grocery, Food and Beverage Delivery Partner.
Through the multi-year deal, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Gopuff will deliver food and other essential items within the venue, as well as offering unique VIP experiences, access to tickets, and so on.
Fans visiting the venue can now bypass concession lines through Click and Collect services in the O2 app powered by Gopuff.
A competition for customers across the UK will kick off the partnership, with the opportunity to win seats in the latter’s VIP suite.
Gopuff will also provide its service to the artists who perform at The O2 whilst they’re onsite.
Rapid grocery delivery space evolves as JOKR exits USA
Last week, on-demand food delivery company JOKR said it was shuttering its New York and Boston businesses and leaving the US market altogether, with the focus now being on Latin America.
The announcement did not surprise Brittain Ladd, a former Amazon exec and supply chain consultant.
Co-op and Microsoft launch Caboodle platform to tackle food waste
Co-op and Microsoft, supported by technology consultancy BJSS and Team ITG, have created Caboodle, a not for profit digital platform that enables UK supermarkets, cafés and restaurants to connect with community groups and volunteers to redistribute surplus food.
Magnum Ice Cream launches a museum in the metaverse
Magnum Ice Cream and Deliveroo have unveiled a metaverse located Magnum Pleasure Museum at the MET AMS festival in Amsterdam.
Between 14th and 17th June, attendees of the festival could wear a VR headset that transported them to the museum in Decentraland.
This housed gallery exhibitions showcasing original artworks from previous Magnum collaborations with illustrators, painters and sculptors, including Thomas Danthony and Brendan Monroe.
Visitors were able to order one of Magnum’s latest ice creams as they made their way through the virtual museum, which was then delivered to them at the end of the experience in real life.
Money management apps flourish as consumers face cost of living crisis
An analysis of the performance of money management apps over the past two years by App Radar has revealed that the sector has gained over five million new Android users in the period 1st January to 7th June 2022.
That is a 46% increase when compared to the same period in 2021, which saw the sector reach just over four million app downloads.
The surge in users shows that consumers are looking for new ways to make their money go further during the cost of living crisis.
Amazon Fresh store opens in Sevenoaks, Kent, powered by Just Walk Out tech
The UK’s first Amazon Fresh checkout-free store situated outside of London has opened in Sevenoaks, Kent.
Located in the former Baby Gap outlet in Bligh’s Meadow, this will be open 7am-11pm, Monday-Sunday.
Like its London counterparts, it is powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.
To shop, customers scan the QR code from their Amazon app, buy what they need, and walk out.
Amazon Fresh stores offer the likes of the e-commerce giant’s private food brand ‘by Amazon’.
They also feature an Amazon Hub counter where customers can pick up or return items purchased on Amazon.co.uk.