Intu will test new technologies in its outlets over the next month including a queue jumping app and ‘shop-bot’ as part of its start-up accelerator initiative.
The retail property firm has installed a robotic retail assistant called ‘Bo’ in its Milton Keynes shopping centre today, which it says is “Europe’s first shopping centre robot”.
Bo, which was developed by start-up robot specialist BotsAndUs, is enabled to give shoppers directions to different stores around the shopping centre and collect feedback on their trip.
Bo robots have been used in the hospitality sector before but this is the first time the company has run a shopping centre trial.
Intu is also deploying new technology at its Trafford Centre outlet.
The retail property firm has partnered with start-up WoraPay to allows shoppers to pay for food and drink items from several in-store chains including Leon and Shake Shack on their phone whilst shopping.
Users will then be able collect the items they have purchased at a time of their choosing without needing to queue.
These start-ups are two of seven that Intu is working with as part of its ten-week start-up incubator scheme entitled Intu Accelerate.
Intu chief executive David Fischel said: “We’ve launched Intu Accelerate to drive forward innovative technology that will entertain and engage shoppers and help businesses to flourish. It’s giving talented new businesses like BotsandUs and WoraPay the opportunity to trial their ideas within live environments and test their potential to shape the future of retail.”