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L Marks launch startup search: Retail Innovation Discovery

Retail Innovation Discovery is a worldwide startup search designed to invest in disruption and shape the future of retail

L Marks is proud to announce Retail Innovation Discovery in partnership with one of the world’s most notable specialty retail conglomerates. The US-based company’s world-renowned brands are known for their iconic lines of lingerie, beauty products and fragrance for body and home. In order to keep the focus firmly on the startups, the retailer has chosen not to attach its name to the innovation programme.

In the digital age, the historic retail giants have had no choice but to re-write their playbook. Disruption is everywhere, making it both a very challenging and very exciting time to be in retail. Retail Innovation Discovery will ensure that this landmark specialty retailer continues to thrive in years to come while also providing some of retail’s most exciting disruptors with a path to growth. The programme provides the opportunity for pioneering startups to partner with the retailer on a range of innovation initiatives and will, in turn, encourage teams across the organisation to self-disrupt and future-proof business operations.

Selected startups will be invited to the Retail Innovation Discovery Pitch Day where they will gain access to the following benefits:

●  The opportunity to present their business to the leaders of teams from each aspect and function of the retailer

●  Invaluable opportunities to grow their network and reach the right people through this specialty retailer’s deep and broad retail connections

●  Exposure to decades of knowledge that only a few vertically integrated specialty retailers in the world have

●  The opportunity to test and iterate their product with company teams and gain validation

●  The opportunity to form a partnership with the retailer and develop their idea at scale

●  Potential investment from the retailer and/or L Marks.

Our retail partner has identified the following innovation areas:

Predictive Modeling & Validation: ​The retailer is looking to become more proactive in how they anticipate and respond to change. They want to find startups that are using emerging technologies like AI and predictive modeling to inform them of future trends and validate key decisions across the business. Essentially, they want to come as close as they possibly can to predicting and optimising the future.

Customer Experience of the New Decade: ​Customer experience is one of the most important factors when consumers choose their brands, but their expectations are constantly evolving. This category looks for solutions that would help the retailer create the store of the future, bridge the gap between physical and digital brand experiences and understand and engage their customers on levels they never have before.

Wildcard: ​The wildcard category allows startups to suggest how they might help the specialty retailer to innovate in an area they might not have thought of yet.

The Retailer’s Director of Technology Innovations said:

“Our goal is to identify startups that can partner with us in creating the future of retail. We want them to challenge us while benefiting from our broad knowledge of specialty retail.”

Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks, said:

“We are delighted to be partnered with a company that has helped to define global retail for decades – in the US and across the world. Combining their commitment to self-disruption and ability to quickly validate new technologies and business models, we will be working together with them to create the future of the retail industry and deliver value to their vast and evolving customer base. We look forward to uncovering the technologies of tomorrow and witnessing the results of this collaboration with game-changing startups.”

The application process is broken up into two parts:

  • Applications for ​Predictive Modelling & Validation and ​Wildcard ​are ​open until 11:59pm (EST) on Thursday 23rd April.
  • Applications for Customer Experience of the New Decade and a second round of ​Wildcard ​will be open from Monday 18th May until 11:59pm (EST) on Sunday 17th June.

For more information about the programme, please visit r​

About our client

The company is a global vertically integrated specialty retailer operating more than 2,900 company-owned specialty stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Greater China. Their world-renowned brands are known for their iconic lines of lingerie, fashion fragrance for both body and home and beauty products and accessories. Within their family of companies, ​they also operate a global supply chain organisation and information technology function that provides the best in innovative, end-to-end solutions to support each brand. ​The brands are also sold in more than 700 franchised locations worldwide and available online through a robust, fully integrated and supported direct business.

About L Marks

L Marks is transforming world-leading organisations through integrating pioneering technologies and inspiring an entrepreneurial ethos. Founded with a mission to create purposeful change and with an appreciation that collaboration is the accelerant for authentic transformation, L Marks is the engine powering innovation programmes across various sectors and has launched over 60 initiatives across the UK, Europe, Israel, Asia, and the US.

Working with partners that include BMW, Lloyd’s of London, and Arsenal FC, L Marks has created the UK’s largest network of corporate innovation labs and is now recognised as a leader in business change. L Marks collaboration programmes establish innovation as a key characteristic of their partners’ businesses, driving a dynamic culture and, ultimately, fuelling growth.

Through creating these relationships and experiences, L Marks is achieving rapid transformation across industries, accelerating the businesses of the future and making change happen today.