M&S teams up with start-up to roll out on-the-go charging service

Keiligh Baker's picture

Londoners will soon be able to charge their phones at Marks & Spencer branches as part of the chain's latest partnership.

The high street giant has teamed up with London-based startup ChargedUp, which has developed a network of vending stations where, for a small fee, users can borrow portable power banks, use them for as long as they need and then return them to a station of their choice.

Users locate a station using the ChargedUp app, simply scanning the QR code to release a battery. Each battery can charge a phone twice over and comes with connector cables for both iPhone and Android. The entire ChargedUp network runs on 100% green energy, made possible by a partnership with Ecotricity.

The initiative is part of Marks & Spencer's start-up programme under a joint venture with Founders Factory Retail.

“We think ChargedUp is a great start-up business," explained Daniel Himsworth, Founders Factory Lead at Marks & Spencer. "Mobile phones are an essential part of today’s shopping experience and we all know how frustrating a low battery is. The ChargedUp team has a very smart idea to solve the problem and keep shoppers fully charged. We look forward to working with them."

ChargedUp’s founder Hugo Tilmouth added: “We are delighted to have been selected for the M&S and Founders Factory Retail programme. As a startup, working with a brand like M&S not only gives us access to the best market insights, but we are incredibly happy that our ChargedUp battery stations will be in several stores next month - which is potentially game-changing for us ahead of our nationwide roll-out. We can’t wait to see M&S customers using our batteries."

ChargedUp aims to be in over 1500 venues in London by mid 2019 and is looking to work with the likes of Pret-A-Manger, TFL and Wetherspoons to ensure people can borrow a battery on every high-street in the UK.

Over the next month, vending stations will be available in eight London M&S stores.

This will include Pantheon, White City, Bankside, Victoria Cardinal Place, Fenchurch Street and Finsbury Pavement alongside those already in place in M&S Merchant Square Café and Waterside Simply Food in Paddington.