M&S rolls out on-the-go charging service

Marks & Spencer has signed up its first Founders Factory Retail start-up. The accelerator programme was created as part of a joint venture with Founders Factory and it has chosen a mobile phone battery sharing service as its inaugural start-up.

The on-the-go phone charging service, ChargedUp, consists of battery charging units which will be available to customers to use at eight M&S stores in London. The start-up hopes to prevent frustration felt by customers who see their smartphones run out of charge while shopping.

ChargedUp also has a network of 250 vending stations across the capital which enables its 20,000 active users to rent power banks from one location and returning them to another station once their device is fully charged.

M&S has rolled out the ChargedUp units to eight stores in London
M&S has rolled out the ChargedUp units to eight stores in London

The Founders Factory Retail joint venture will work with the renewable energy start-up for six months exposing it to experts in various fields including design, AI and data science, as well as one of the UK’s biggest retailers.

M&S already has the ChargedUp devices at two stores at the retailer’s Paddington headquarters, with six more stores to launch the units next month: Pantheon, White City, Bankside, Victoria Cardinal Place, Fenchurch Street and Finsbury Pavement.

“We think ChargedUp is a great start-up business,” said Daniel Himsworth, Founders Factory lead at Marks & Spencer. “Mobile phones are an essential part of today’s shopping experience and we all know how frustrating a low battery is. The ChargedUp team has a very smart idea to solve the problem and keep shoppers fully charged. We look forward to working with them.”

ChargedUp’s founder and CEO Hugo Tilmouth, added: “We are delighted to have been selected for the M&S and Founders Factory Retail programme. As a start-up, working with a brand like M&S not only gives us access to the best market insights, but we are incredibly happy that our ChargedUp battery stations will be in several stores next month – which is potentially game-changing for us ahead of our nationwide roll-out. We can’t wait to see M&S customers using our batteries."