Marks & Spencer has joined forces with a tech start-up to offer customers the ability to rent phone-charging power banks in selected London stores.
ChargedUp, the winner of M&S’s new retail accelerator programme, provides a network of vending stations where people can borrow a power bank to charge their phones and drop it back off when they have finished, anywhere in the network. It has 250 stations in London.
It is the first start-up selected for the Founders Factory retail accelerator programme, which launched last July with investment from M&S.
ChargedUp stations have been installed in eight M&S stores in London: Pantheon (on the east side of Oxford Street), Westfield London in White City, Bankside, Victoria Cardinal Place, Fenchurch Street and Finsbury Pavement. Two are already in place at the Merchant Square Cafe and Waterside Simply Food stores.
Prices start from 50p for 30 minutes, up to £3 for a full 24 hours. Shoppers can return the power banks to any ChargedUp station in the network.
ChargedUp has received a £30,000 cash investment from the retail accelerator programme, and will have access to support from Founders Factory to help it to scale up.
Daniel Himsworth, Founders Factory lead at M&S, said: “Mobile phones are an essential part of today’s shopping experience and we all know how frustrating a low battery is. The ChargedUp team has a very smart idea to solve the problem and keep shoppers fully charged.”