John Lewis has re-opened the doors to its JLAB tech accelerator, offering £100,000 to entrepreneurs and startups who think they hold the key to the future of shopping.

The competition is open to startups who are meshing the physical and digital world, making payments seamless, creating smart workforce solutions or those looking at connected home experience, all of which are key priorities for John Lewis. There is also a wild card category for ‘innovations that are so out of this world they are hard to classify’.

Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said:

“As an established business we have certain ways of doing things and JLAB is an opportunity to inject the start-up spirit into our innovation efforts. Our inspiration is our founder Spedan Lewis – what new things would he be doing today? After the success of last year, I’m looking forward to working with a fresh group of start-ups with exciting ideas that could help shape the customer and Partner experience at John Lewis for years to come.”

Last year’s JLAB winner was the micro-location tech startup Localz, who are now working with John Lewis on a ‘click and collect’ solution for its stores.