German retailer Edeka has launched a new 'Techstarter' platform, which aims to optimise the shopping experience and everyday workflows across its operations by developing links with startups.
The platform will serve as a point of contact for searching for and offering technological solutions, and act as a central source of technology innovation with the aim of shaping the food retail experience of tomorrow.
Through the platform, the retailer will share its innovation requirements, inviting startups to respond with their ideas. If a concept is suitable, an initial test phase with a pilot project will commence in a store, which is documented and evaluated ahead of a potential wider rollout.
The search for innovative solutions focuses on the technological challenges faced by merchants as well as those of the seven regional companies and the Edeka headquarters in Hamburg.
The principle behind the platform is already well-established within the group, Edeka added. Since 2017, the retailer has been offering startups the opportunity to advertise and sell their products directly to merchants through the 'Foodstarter' programme.
In 2020, Edeka reported group-wide sales of €61 billion, with its 3,600 Edeka stores generating sales of €33.1 billion, accounting for more than half of the total turnover in the group.
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