N Brown, the Manchester-based multichannel retailer that owns brands including JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, has launched an innovation programme called JDWorks with partner L Marks.
The retailer is looking for eight start-ups to shake up the business and help improve its capabilities and service and is offering a 10-week partnership programme, mentoring, office space and investment in return.
It is particularly looking for businesses that focus on innovation in product fit, ways to shop, customer experience, customer loyalty, supply chain and using new data.
“Digital development is a massive focus for us and partnering with L Marks will allow us access to some of the most innovative ideas from start-ups, which by their nature, are very agile,” said N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler. “They can react extremely quickly to the opportunities presented by our ever-changing retail and technology landscape.”
Stuart Marks, chief executive and founder of L Marks, said: “JDWorks is particularly interesting for us due to the age demographic of N Brown’s customer base. Start-up products and services tend to be focused on the younger, tech-savvy generation. N Brown’s customer base spans from 25-year-olds to 90-year-olds, and applicants will need to take this into consideration, so it will be interesting to see the ideas that are developed.”