M&S Partner with True; Tesco/Carrefour Alliance to Start in October

RetailTechNews rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European retail technology space. In this week’s edition: Marks & Spencer Co-operate with True for Digital Innovation; Tesco & Carrefour Announce Start Date of Strategic Alliance; and Funding for Salsify go Go into Expansion.

Marks & Spencer Co-operate with True for Digital Innovation

A new partnership between retailer Marks & Spencer and specialist retail and consumer investment firm True is to give M&S pre-emptive access to more than 2,000 enterprise-ready businesses every year as part of M&S’s ongoing digital transformation. Enhancing M&S’s digital capabilities, True will provide such access through its Live Network.

The partnership with True is to generate new opportunities for M&S on the basis of enterprise-ready technology and consumer-product businesses that are active in True’s network. Steve Rowe, CEO, M&S, explains: “Our partnership with True will give us unparalleled access to the latest innovations and technologies that have the potential to transform the way we operate and run our business. As M&S seeks to become a digital-first retailer, we will be on the front foot thanks to True’s deep sector knowledge and the exposure they will give us to new enterprise-ready technologies that will benefit our customers and make us fit for the future.”

Mike Tattersall, CCO, True, adds: “The explicit focus of our partnership activities is to deliver positive commercial outcomes with clear and tangible ROI for our partners. M&S exemplifies a business that has not only helped shape the British retail landscape, but understands the need to evolve – and the importance of innovation to achieve this. Through the True Live Network, we will support M&S in enhancing its operations and ensuring it’s a retail business that is strongly positioned to navigate a continuously changing landscape.”

Tesco & Carrefour Announce Start Date of Strategic Alliance

In July 2018, British and French retail giants Tesco and Carrefour announced their strategic alliance in order to use their joint buying power to cut costs and offer lower prices to customers. Faced with an increasingly competitive environment, the relationship between the two companies is to extend to combined buying from global suppliers, as well as sharing their own-brand products.

The companies have now revealed that the purchasing alliance will come into effect from October 2018 and will initially be governed by a three-year operational framework. At the same time, both Tesco and Carrefour are planning to work with some suppliers individually.

Meanwhile, the strategic alliance between the two supermarket giants has come under scrutiny from the French regulatory authorities. The Autorité de la Concurrence is concerned about the impact of the purchasing alliance on suppliers and consumers and is planning to conduct interviews with competitors of Tesco and Carrefour, as well as suppliers, in order to understand the effect of the alliance on the market.

Funding for Salsify go Go into Expansion

Product data provider Salsify wants to push its global footprint. The U.S.-based tech company has just closed a series D funding round, netting USD$43m (£37.05m) from investors such as Greenspring Associates and previous investors.

Besides global expansion, the new capital is earmarked for investment in research and development in Salsify’s product capabilities. The company is also planning to further develop their existing programmes to connect and enable partners.

The fourth round of funding brings Salsify’s total investment to almost USD$100m (£86.16m).