RetailTechNews rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European retail technology space. In this week’s edition: Ikea Wants to Focus on E-Commerce; Rewe Introduces Delivery Flat Rate; und Net-a-Porter-Founder Launches Retail Investment Fund.
Ikea Wants to Focus on E-Commerce
Despite healthy retail sales of £30bn in 2017, Ikea is planning to shift their focus from conventional furniture retail to e-commerce. After talk of complementing their current store strategy with new city centre showrooms, the Swedish furniture retailer is now talking of focussing increasingly on their online retail activities and delivery solutions.
While a new IT platform was being tested in the UK, the company intends to apply their growth strategies in developing markets such as India, as well as existing major markets such as China and the US. A new online order system and web platform is to be implemented in all markets by February 2019, Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ikea, told Reuters.
The company says it is reacting to changing customer habits which sees shoppers increasingly buying over the internet, not least for the convenience of having their purchases delivered on their doorstep.
Rewe Introduces Delivery Flat Rate
German food retailer Rewe not only wants to make grocery shopping more convenient for customers, but also to counter the increasing dominance of Amazon which has recently made inroads into the grocery retail market. A new flat rate delivery service is to push sales for the supermarket chain.
Customers in 75 German cities can choose from two delivery flat rates. Depending on the chosen delivery windows, customers pay from €6.99 for unlimited deliveries. The offer is valid for the entire product range available for Rewe delivery.
Rewe had been testing a delivery flat rate in Cologne last year. With the competitive prices of the flat rate, which is undercutting the delivery prices by Amazon, Rewe is challenging the US group.
In 2017, Rewe generated €21.2m in turnover in 3,300 supermarkets in Germany.
Net-a-Porter-Founder Launches Retail Investment Fund
According to news reports, Natalie Massenet, founder of online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, has launched a new retail investment fund. Worth USD$75m, the fund is managed by Massenet’s venture capital firm, Imaginary Ventures.
The new fund is to supply capital for retail tech opportunities both in Europe and in the US, where Imaginary Ventures is based. Specifically, the fund is to invest in “this emerging generation of entrepreneurs challenging the retail status-quo across every vertical”, a statement by Massenet reads.
Among the first companies to receive funding at launch are rental platform Appear Here, luxury fashion platform Farfetch, as well as beauty startup Glossier and fashion brand Everlane.
Imaginary’s capital comes from investors such as real estate billionaire Rick Caruso and Matches Fashion founders Tom and Ruth Chapman. The fund is looking to back retail startups from the areas of fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle.