Shortlist revealed for TfL’s inaugural retail innovation competition

Transport for London (TfL) has chosen 10 shortlisted ideas for its retail innovation competition, launched earlier this year.

London’s transport network challenged businesses and start-ups to develop an innovative idea to “reimagine the use of physical space in retail” for consumers who use the transport network every day.

Concepts must be supported by technology and the winner will have the chance to pilot their idea in a TfL retail space for a year, at a value of up to £100,000. The shortlisted companies will present their concepts in front of a judging panel before the winner is chosen.

“As with many industries, the advances made in technology is encouraging the retail sector to keep on their toes and constantly adapt to deliver innovative techniques and products to enhance customer experiences on our network,” said Rikesh Shah, head of commercial innovation at TfL.

This competition and the shortlisted entries show that there are a range of exciting opportunities just waiting to be taken forward and we’re pleased to be at the forefront of change, building on our history of working with innovative companies.”

The shortlisted ideas include:

MakersCAFE: It is a place where people can ‘make’ things by using innovative state-of-the-art technologies, such as 3D printing and laser-cutting, while also in a social interactive cafe environment.

Nayad: Nayad’s concept offers customers the chance to purchase mineral water exactly to their tastes by offering it as either still or sparkling, at a range of temperatures and with optional healthy additions, while getting rid of the need for disposable bottles.

Petit Pli: Petit Pli use the retail location as an experiential shop, working research lab and interactive exhibition for their company, which designs clothes that grow through seven different sizes, fitting children between nine months and four years.

Popertee: Go-London powered by Popertee will enable international brands to create an experiential retail presence for the first time in the UK across TfL’s estate. The permanent "pop-up" space will be powered by data, enabling smarter measurement of the campaign.

PopSquare: PopSquare is an AI-enabled marketplace which offers mobile, automated pop-up stores that support the launch of new products or brands in a more automated and cost-effective way by combining online and offline experiences and using big data.

Pop & Rest: Their concept offers people in large cities the chance to book a single occupancy sleep and meditation pod. Booked by the hour via app, users are able to personalise their experience through music, lighting and aroma.

Sook Retail: Sook fits out empty shops with a digital wallpaper, which allows multiple tenants to occupy a space during the same day. A tenant can turn up and digitally brand the space exactly as they want it at the touch of a button.

Vastari: Vastari matches content with venues for experiences worldwide. The company’s proposal is to manage a rolling schedule of temporary, ticketed exhibitions at the retail location, imported from around the world.

Sensei: Sensei offers to make retail autonomous and checkout-free, by using an integrated system of cameras and AI algorithms so that all products picked by each customer are registered automatically for further billing when they leave the store.

Texel: Texel uses computer vision and state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to provide shoppers with digital avatars and personal recommendations, which are used to try out different outfits, so they have confidence when shopping for clothes online.