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Galeries Lafayette reveals retail disruptors in startup accelerator

October 4, 2016

Image courtesy of Galeries Lafayette Image courtesy of Galeries Lafayette


French department store chain Galeries Lafayette’s startup incubator has kicked off its first program with 10 startups it believes have the potential to change the fashion and retail industries.

The Lafayette Plug and Play innovation platform received more than 200 applications, with 55 percent from France and the rest representing other countries. With a rise in digital technology being used in retail, supporting these startups may help Galeries Lafayette innovate as well.

Fostering innovation
Galeries Lafayette announced its incubator in May. The program is in partnership with global innovation platform Plug and Play, which has invested in brands such as PayPal and Dropbox, to support and accelerate the development of startups in the retail and fashion sector (see story).

Seven of the 10 chosen projects come from France, with the remainder hailing from the United States, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

Included are the U.S. Chute, which is focused on making user-generated content search more simple and informative and the U.K.’s Smartzer, an interactive video player that shares analytics.

Denmark’s EasySize uses purchase behavior of millions of consumers to predict a shopper’s size, raising conversion numbers and lowering the return rate.

Galeries Lafayette Xmas 2015

Galeries Lafayette's holiday campaign

Services include Igloo, which allows consumers to try on clothing from a physical store in the comfort of their own home, and ShopRunBack, which takes care of returns for the user.

PrimoID makes electronically-enabled fabrics with its E-Thread.

Others such as Affily One, Early Birds, Alcmeon and Transaction Connect, focus on providing merchants selling tools such as personalization, mobile commerce and loyalty.

The participants began their customized programs on Sept. 26, and the incubator will wrap as the startups present their projects in front of investors and executives on Dec. 22. Sponsors and mentors include Farfetch chief operating officer Andrew Robb, Birchbox France managing director Quentin Reygrobellet and Exane BNP Paribas managing director of equity Luca Solca.

A second session will begin accepting applications on Dec. 1 for a round beginning next March.