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RTIH runs through this week’s coolest retail technology plays — Retail Technology Innovation Hub

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RTIH Editor, Scott Thompson, brings you his top ‘future of retail systems’ deployments from the past week, including ‘smart’ laundry detergent refill stations, in-store crypto payments, and rapid grocery delivery services.

Gucci

Gucci will accept cryptocurrency payments in some US stores at the end of this month, with plans afoot to extend the pilot to all of its directly operated North America stores this summer. 

Payments will be made with a link sent via email to the customer. 

The link contains a QR code that allows them to execute the payment from their crypto wallet. 

The first Gucci stores onboard are Wooster Street in New York, Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, Miami Design District, Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas. 

Gucci will accept payments in more than 10 currencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu and five stablecoins pegged to the US dollar.

Lidl

Lidl UK has launched a ‘smart’ laundry detergent refill station for a six-month trial in the West Midlands.

The pilot, taking place at its Kingswinford branch, is in partnership with startup Algramo.

Chris Baker, Country Manager at Algramo UK, says: “We are very happy to help Lidl customers make simple everyday actions more sustainable.”

“During 2021, just in Chile, we managed to reuse more than 250,000 plastic bottles, that are still being used by consumers, keeping more than 30 tons of plastic in the economy and out of the environment.”

Starbucks

Starbucks will launch its own NFT collections later this year.

During its fiscal Q2 2022 earnings call this week, the coffee giant said that NFTs can help Starbucks extend its concept of the “third place”, that is, a place between home and work where people can feel a sense of belonging over coffee.

The company as brought in Adam Brotman, the architect of its Mobile Order & Pay system and the Starbucks app, to help serve as a special advisor on the project.

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