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Pizzas in a jiffy: RTIH runs through this week’s coolest retail technology plays

RTIH Editor, Scott Thompson, brings you his top ‘future of retail’ systems launches and deployments from the past week, including rapid pizza deliveries, robots on the streets of Cambridge, and the biggest Shopify ecosystem news you haven’t heard.

Focal Systems

Retail automation specialist, Focal Systems, has entered the UK market, having joined the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in August and opened its first office in Europe.

The US-based firm, which has developed the Self Driving Store Operating System (FocalOS) and raised more than $40 million in VC funding to date, says it will use its AI technology to help UK retailers improve margins, increase sustainability, and better serve customers.

Focal Systems is among the nominees in the Supply Chain category at the 2022 RTIH Innovation Awards.

It has been shortlisted for its work with the likes of Walmart Canada.

Following a 70 store pilot, a computer vision AI solution from Focal Systems that uses cameras to automate out-of-stock detection, is rolling out to all stores.

The technology, which is integrated with the retailer’s existing inventory systems, automatically detects real-time availability concerns (out-of-stock or low-stock) and directs store teams to replenish in popular departments like grocery, pets, health and beauty, frozen, dairy and so on.

Walmart is one of the first retailers in Canada to deploy an AI solution for on-shelf availability.

RTIH Editor, Scott Thompson, says: “Innovation and technology play a critical role in the success of the retail sector, so it is great to recognise standout examples through our awards.”

“Thanks to all those who have entered the 2022 event. We received a record number of submissions and many fantastic examples of the continued resilience and dynamism of the retail space during hugely challenging times.”

“I’m now looking forward to deciding the winners with our judging panel and announcing them at our central London event in December.”

Chicago Town and Gorillas

Chicago Town has teamed up with Gorillas, offering UK consumers the chance to have its pizzas ordered, delivered, and cooked in just 30 minutes.

The partnership launches ahead of the 2022 World Cup on Friday 18th November across 36 Greater London locations. 

Acton, Battersea, Clapham, Hackney, and Tottenham are a few of the areas that Gorillas delivers to.

Uber and Gopuff

Uber and Gopuff have announced a new UK partnership that will enable customers across the country who use the Uber Eats app to order from Gopuff’s range of everyday essentials, including branded products and fresh food items, direct from said app. 

This builds on a US tie up, which launched in May 2021. 

The roll-out of Gopuff stores onto the Uber Eats app will be completed by mid-November.Orders will be fulfilled by the former’s delivery partners. 

Ottonomy and Posten Norge

Ottonomy has announced a collaboration with Posten Norge and Holo which will see trials involving first mile delivery automation. 

Posten Norge will be leveraging Ottonomy’s Ottobots for first mile pick-ups, receiving and delivering goods for the digital marketplace AMOI from the Aker Brygge metropolitan area in Oslo.

adidas Originals

adidas Originals has unveiled a limited collection of blockchain-based virtual wearables, released as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) here.

Representing the brand’s first NFT collection of wearables, a new product category adidas calls “Virtual Gear”, the launch is part of a drive towards strengthening its “community-based, member first, open metaverse strategy”.

Revealed following a teaser campaign with the adidas Discord community, and available within the wallets of existing Phase 2 Capsule NFT holders, the 16 piece collection ties together past and future, virtual and physical, communities and creators, culture and identity.

Designed to be worn by virtual avatars, and accessible through a PFP dressing tool, every piece within the latest NFT offering is interoperable with other identity-based projects and worlds.

As part of the continued collaboration with the brand’s earliest Web3 partners, the collection also includes three limited edition creator led wearables – each representing the creative flair of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Gmoney, and Punks Comics, respectively.

Co-op and Starship Technologies

Food delivery robots are taking to the streets of Cambridge as part of a new scheme by Cambridgeshire County Council, Starship Technologies, and Co-op. 

Following a pilot in nearby Cambourne earlier this year, the decision was made by the Highways and Transport Committee to welcome the robots to Cambridge, with a grocery delivery service available to 12,200 residents within the Cherry Hinton and Queen Edith areas of Cambridge.

Orders are made through the Starship app, with groceries picked in local Co-op stores on Perne Road and Cherry Hinton Road.

Residents can order their delivery to arrive in under an hour and watch the robot travel in real-time via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, residents receive an alert and can meet and unlock it through the app.

Fiserv Forum and Amazon

Fiserv Forum debuted Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at a Bucks vs. Cavaliers game this week.

It’s the first time that the tech, along with the Amazon One palm recognition service, have been deployed in Wisconsin, USA.

Located outside of Section 119 on the main concourse of Fiserv Forum, a new store, The Market by Michelob ULTRA, enables fans to grab drinks and snacks without having to wait in line to checkout.

Giant Tiger

Canadian discount store chain, Giant Tiger, has launched a new website and an end to end tech stack replacement.

In a LinkedIn post, Simon Rodrigue, SVP & Chief Digital Officer at Giant Tiger, said: “Excited to be working with Shopify on the Shopify Plus platform building out an experience to help Canadians save with a smile.”

He added: “Thanks to all of the teams at Giant Tiger, our lead development partners at Diff and our technology partners at Algolia, Contentful, Segment, ShipHero, Akeneo, Sitation, 6 River Systems, Alumworks, Noibu, Yotpo, Klaviyo, Gorgias, Plobal Apps – it takes a powerful team, dedicated to a cause to make it happen.”

In a Twitter post, Aaron Rubin, Founder and CEO at ShipHero, described the project as “the biggest Shopify ecosystem news you haven’t heard”.

Charlotte Tilbury

Obsess has launched Branded Avatars, technology enabling brands to customise the look and feel and character style of shopper avatars to create branded metaverse experiences on their e-commerce sites.

This then lets shoppers personalise all aspects of their branded avatar, including skin tone, facial features, body shape, clothing and makeup.

Charlotte Tilbury is the first brand to partner with Obsess to offer the new functionality, introducing it as part of its Charlotte’s Beauty Realm holiday wonderland.

Just Eat and Getir

Just Eat is partnering with rapid delivery company Getir across Europe.

As part of this, the latter’s entire product portfolio will be integrated into Just Eat’s marketplace and will be delivered directly by Getir couriers.

The partnership will kick off in Germany next week, with approximately 2.000 items ready for customers to buy online from all Getir stores, through Lieferando’s app and website.

It will be rolled out to other European markets including the UK, Spain, Italy and France, in the coming weeks.


Reza, a Parisian jewellery brand, has launched a website powered by Perfect Corp.’s AgileHand technology.

This offers an immersive AI and AR shopping journey, allowing consumers to experience Reza’s rings, earrings, and bracelets through interactive virtual try-on technology.

3D hand mapping technology uses physically based rendering to aid in precision 3D objects with true to life finishes, mimicking the light scattering effects of different materials to ensure Reza pieces are accurately recreated as digital renderings.


Nike is testing out a new platform, .SWOOSH, which will eventually give members the opportunity to co-create – and earn royalties on – virtual Nike products.

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