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Six retailers/brands that are all about the blockchain right now

Scott Thompson

Alyx Luxury fashion brand, Alyx, is set to use German blockchain foundation Iota’s DLT solution in the supply chain. Iota’s system will be implemented in partnership with Avery Dennison. Alyx  customers will be able to track the journey of purchased items, from creation to the point of sale, with an app which reads QR codes. Matthew Williams, Creative Director at Alyx, told GQ: “We’re doing a blockchain prototype that shows the raw material to the finished garment. Our brand is about evolution not revolution, so we work on making the things we do better.” Whole Foods Flexa has launched its new payments network, enabling shoppers to spend cryptocurrencies in physical stores. This currently supports Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and the

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Alyx

Luxury fashion brand, Alyx, is set to use German blockchain foundation Iota’s DLT solution in the supply chain.

Iota’s system will be implemented in partnership with Avery Dennison. Alyx  customers will be able to track the journey of purchased items, from creation to the point of sale, with an app which reads QR codes.

Matthew Williams, Creative Director at Alyx, told GQ: “We’re doing a blockchain prototype that shows the raw material to the finished garment. Our brand is about evolution not revolution, so we work on making the things we do better.”

Whole Foods

Flexa has launched its new payments network, enabling shoppers to spend cryptocurrencies in physical stores.

This currently supports Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and the Gemini Dollar and works at such retailers as GameStop, Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Jamba Juice and Bed Bath & Beyond. “We couldn’t be more delighted to be working in such esteemed company, and we look forward to announcing even more incredible merchant partners on the Flexa network in the coming months,” Flexa said in a Medium post.

Its app, Spedn, generates a QR code that you scan at checkout. The merchant receives immediate payment in dollars, and the equivalent amount of cryptocurrency is debited from your cryptocurrency wallet in the app. “This is the first real instance of decentralised global retail payments, with the power to make commerce more efficient and accessible for billions of citizens globally,” said Flexa CEO Tyler Spalding in a statement.

“The legacy payment systems are complicated and costly. This solution provides a way for cryptocurrencies to solve these problems and allow merchants to conduct inexpensive and fraud-resistant transactions.”

Further details here.

Arvind Fashions

Indian clothing retail chain Arvind Fashions has inked an MoU with IoT and blockchain venture, Nucleus Vision, for a pilot project across its GAP, Nautica and U.S. Polo Assn. stores. This will aim to boost personalisation efforts via Nucleus Vision’s blockchain and real-time sensor technology.

“We see tremendous interest from customers for a more evolved and personalised shopping  experience. Nucleus Vision’s revolutionary technology will give us valuable insights into our customer behaviour, which will help us improve customer satisfaction and increase revisits,” says Rukaiya Rangwala, COO, Digital Centre of Excellence, Arvind Fashions.

Starbucks

Starbucks is to implement Microsoft’s recently announced Azure Blockchain Service to track coffee production.

The idea is to connect coffee drinkers with coffee farmers, who can potentially then take advantage of new financial opportunities. Customers will be able to use the Starbucks mobile app to trace the journey of their coffee from the farm where the beans originate all the way to their cup. Starbucks has promised to open source the pilot programme and share what it learns.

PepsiCo

PepsiCo has worked with media agency Mindshare on a blockchain trial, dubbed Project Proton, that brought about a 28% boost in programmatic supply chain efficiency.

The aim was to examine if the technology could address “industry challenges” in programmatic advertising. It ran during March in Asia Pacific and focused on viewable impressions, running one campaign through smart contracts and one without. Mindshare drove the project alongside other members of Project Proton, including Zilliqa Research, Rubicon Project, MediaMath and Integral Ad Science. The group has been working together for almost a year and this is the first test with a major brand to be published.

The smart contracts are deployed through Zilliqa’s blockchain and can reconcile impressions from other data sources alongside payments. It’s done by using a NAT (Native Alliance Token) in almost real-time. Farida Shakhshir, Director of Consumer Engagement for PepsiCo, AMENA, says: “It is key that we stay abreast of new technologies, and continue to advance transparency, viewability, brand safety and buying efficiency. The results are encouraging, and we plan to run a few more campaigns under different conditions to verify more hypotheses and measure overall impact.”

Erich Wasserman, Co-founder and Head of Strategic Business Development at MediaMath, comments: “We are delighted by this partnership as it matures solutions that further the promises of transparency and performance in programmatic marketing. We look forward to growing the addressable data and media supply chain that that can take full advantage of the powerful optimisation tools that buy-side platforms afford advertisers.”

LVMH

ConsenSys has teamed with LVMH and Microsoft to build a platform, dubbed Aura, that allows consumers to verify the authenticity of luxury goods, based on Ethereum blockchain tech and tapping Microsoft Azure.

LVMH brands including Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior are involved in the project and discussions are underway to onboard more from the group along with other luxury ventures. According to a press release: “Aura makes it possible for consumers to access the product history and proof of authenticity of luxury goods — from raw materials to the point of sale, all the way to second-hand markets.”

Ken Timsit, Managing Director of ConsenSys Solutions, comments: “Aura is a groundbreaking innovation for the luxury industry. We are proud to contribute and to work with LVMH on an initiative that will serve the entire luxury industry, protecting the interests, integrity, and privacy of each brand, leveraging Ethereum blockchain technology in a truly decentralised way.” 

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