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Two days left to enter the John Lewis-StartUpBritain 'PitchUp' initiative

High street retailer John Lewis has teamed up with PopUp Britain to find the cream of British product design as part of its latest PitchUp competition.

Budding product designers have been invited to pitch their ideas to John Lewis as part of the high street retailer's PitchUp initiative.

Now in its third year, the competition gives retail entrepreneurs the opportunity to demonstrate their products to a panel of buyers at the John Lewis headquarters as part of a day-long pitching day.
The project is run in partnership with PopUp Britain, which offers short-term, low-cost premises to new retail brands as part of its mission to rejuvenate Britain's high streets.

12 start-ups across home wares, beauty, clothing and electricals will be chosen to take part in the event, which is due to be held on August 1.

All the pitching companies will receive a programme of retail mentoring, and could see their products stocked on John Lewis' shelves.

PitchUp has received 300 entries to date. Just two days remain before the application process closes.
"We're always looking for the latest unique and innovative products for our customers," Matthew Hully, head of brand innovation at John Lewis, said. "PitchUp allows us to see the newest entrepreneurial talent whole supporting start-up businesses."

Retailers that have picked up supply contracts with John Lewis as a result of previous PitchUp days include: waterproof outdoor cushions firm Oily Rag; Brighton-based toddler balance bike company ToddleBike; and social enterprise Jollies Socks, which donates a pair of socks to the homeless for every pair sold.

Toddlebike founder Jo Hockley, who signed a deal with John Lewis following the 2012 pitching session, said of PitchUp, "It's propelled us from being little more than a hobby to being a proper business. The development of my business has been phenomenal."
Retail start-ups can apply at popupbritain.com/pitchup

Source : Rebecca Burn- Callander - The Telegraph
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/10902789/John-Lewis-seeks-hot-retail-talent.html

16 June 2014
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