European first sees robot assistants at Lakeside in Essex
Europe’s first robotic retail assistants will be directing customers to different parts of the intu Lakeside shopping centre in West Thurrock this weekend.
The robots will join GoInStore – one of seven new technologies being trialled by owner intu in partnership with new businesses for its start-up accelerator programme, intu Accelerate. The robotic retail assistants were introduced to shoppers at intu Milton Keynes last month by robot specialists BotsAndUs.
Daily videos, hosted by intu Lakeside’s personal shopper Carlene Noel are being streamed using smartphone technology by start-up GoInStore to give a range of the centre’s shops and business a live digital presence on intu’s affailiate website intu.co.uk
Topshop, Debenhams and hair-stylists Toni and Guy are among those taking part in what is the first initiative of its kind at a European shopping centre. It offers online shoppers style and gifting advice with the opportunity to instantly buy the items featured.
Live-chat facility TokyWoky has also gone live on intu.co.uk this week, giving customers the chance to receive real-time advice from fellow shoppers about every aspect of intu’s shopping experience online and at its 14 shopping centres across the UK.
David Fischel, intu chief executive, said: “Retail has always been an inventive industry and the UK has remained at the forefront of this. We’ve launched intu Accelerate to drive forward innovative technology that will entertain and engage shoppers and help our retailers flourish. It’s giving talented start-ups like GoInStore, TokyWoky and BotsAndUs the opportunity to accelerate their businesses as they trial their ideas within live environments and test their potential to shape the future of retail.”
Aman Khurana, GoInStore co-founder, said: “It’s been fantastic working with intu to bring a personal shopping experience usually only found in-store to a large online audience in the run up to Christmas. And we’re proud that the technology allows shoppers to buy the items featured whilst they watch the broadcast.”
Visit intu.co.uk from 12.30pm tomorrow (Friday 3rd November) to watch the personal shopper live video.