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Milligan and Living PlanIT to Deliver Smart Retail Solutions through Strategic Alliance and £1m (~$1.4m) Innovation Fund

Leading technology pioneer, Living PlanIT, and innovative retail developer, Milligan, have announced a strategic alliance to develop smart retail solutions to create connected, profitable and sustainable retail destinations.

As part of the alliance, the companies are to launch a £1m (~$1.4m) “PlanIT Retail” innovation fund and will raise a further £10m (~$14m) from industry partners and investors. The fund aims to encourage disruptive technology, showcase new ideas and support the creation of smarter on-premise retail solutions by working with entrepreneurial developers and start-ups through a series of hackathons, innovation labs and competitions.

Living PlanIT was formed in 2006, with the vision that urban environments need a software platform to support the long-term viability of economic, social and environmental sustainability. The company has successfully spearheaded planning for major smart city projects, resulting in the design, delivery and adoption of its PlanIT Urban Operating System™ (UOS) platform.

Since 2009, Living PlanIT has worked with Milligan on key projects including London City Airport and the Mailbox in Birmingham, developing smart on-premise retail solutions.

At London City airport this led to a £0.8m (~$1.1m) grant from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) with a matching grant from Living PlanIT, showcasing the world’s first demonstration of the “Internet of Things” applied to an airport.

At Mailbox in Birmingham, which Milligan co-invested in with Brockton Capital, the companies have created a vision for Europe’s first fully integrated retail app. “The Ultimate Customer Experience” uses Living PlanIT’s UOS to embrace the connected customer, personalizing their experiences, and providing continuous customer engagement pre, during and after their visits to the Mailbox.

Set to launch in 2017, a key part of this vision will be the smart phone app, a “one stop shop” for everything customers want from their Mailbox experience, integrated with tenants’ IT infrastructure to enable pre-ordering and booking of products and services. The app will store preferences and learn from customers’ actions to provide meaningful offers, recognize and reward spend and share curated experiences. In return, the rich data will be shared with tenants both at an aggregate and highly personalized level.

The strategic alliance between Milligan and Living PlanIT will continue to shape and drive the implementation of new technology in the retail development market to significantly improve customer experience as well as enhancing efficiencies and reducing operational and building management costs.


John Milligan, CEO of Milligan Retail said;

“As a business we have become increasingly focused on the importance of technology to drive sales and to identify, acknowledge and engage with loyal shoppers via real-time, integrated and intelligent systems. The key goal is to use technology to understand more about who spends in our retail places, create advocates who will drive loyalty and ultimately spend.”

Samantha Robinson, Director of Brand and Customer Engagement at Milligan added;

“Living PlanIT’s UOS platform approach allows us to steer away from silo solutions and innovate the entire end to end customer journey, across all of our projects. Layering in all the different data sources and technology elements gives us real-time actionable insight and essentially creates very smart retail spaces.

We see enormous untapped potential in the convergence of the digital and physical worlds across airports, leisure and retail markets and are truly excited at being able to announce this strategic alliance with a company who we believe to be at the forefront of this technology.”

Steve Lewis, CEO of Living PlanIT commented;

“As the world changes, technology must likewise evolve to adapt to the challenges faced by the environment and our societies.

Since 2006, Living PlanIT has remained at the forefront of urban innovation and our collaboration and now strategic alliance with Milligan significantly deepens our understanding of consumer behavior and needs in retail destinations.

Our work with Milligan over the past years has included important learning lessons to ensure that our technology continues to be designed at its core to serve the needs of individuals, their autonomy, privacy and quality of life.

The fund will further ensure that we, collaborating with other innovators, are creating meaningful solutions for people, in retail and entertainment venues including malls, airports, railway stations and beyond. We look forward to developing these new solutions and replicating them throughout our wider project portfolio internationally.”

The PlanIT Retail innovation fund will be overseen by a governing board led by Ian Taylor, Living PlanIT’s Chairman, Chairman of the Rainbow Seed Fund and former UK Government Science Minister, John Stenlake, Living PlanIT’s CTO and technology adviser to Milligan and Samantha Robinson, Milligan’s Head of Brand and Customer Engagement.

Commenting on the fund, Ian Taylor said, “We’re hugely excited to announce this new fund, and we will be reaching out to developers and technology pioneers across the globe to create with us the next generation of smart retail solutions. Over the coming months we will be actively seeking to work with match funders, strategic partners, incubator hubs, SMEs, education research facilities and government bodies, to enable us to open up this opportunity as widely as possible.”

About Living PlanIT

Living PlanIT is a technology company that created the world’s first Urban Operating System (UOS) which, in combination with the products it supports, unlocks the full potential of data to make cities better, safer and more vibrant places to live.

Living PlanIT has built an extensive partner network around the concept of a shared, unified approach to smart urban technology architecture in which machine intelligence moves ever closer to originating sources of data and control. We call this architecture PlanIT Edgeless Computing™ and it is implemented throughout the PlanIT Urban Operating System™, providing a framework for resilient and secure computer and systems architecture for digital and biological sensing, control, analytics, machine learning, applications and visualization techniques.

Living PlanIT asserts its rights to the following Trademarks: Living PlanIT™, PlanIT Edgeless Computing™, Edgeless Computing™, PlanIT Urban Operating System™, PlanIT UOS™, PlanIT OS™, PlanIT Crumbs™, PlanIT PlaceApps™, PlanIT Valley™, PlanIT Assurance™, PlanIT Labs™, PlanIT Retail™, PlanIT Life™. Any reference to these names in this content shall be considered as an assertion of these Trademarks. or follow us on Twitter @Living_PlanIT

About Milligan Retail

Established in 2002, Milligan is a retail developer that specializes in the strategic repositioning of retail centers in an increasingly competitive and challenging retail environment. At the heart of the Milligan philosophy is a passion and drive to develop places where people are inspired to shop. Each project is conceived, designed and delivered by focusing on the needs and desires of the people who will visit, use and enjoy the space. In fourteen years, Milligan has developed an international reputation for approaching retail assets with flexibility and flair, and producing superior financial returns. or follow us on Twitter @milliganretail

Samantha Robinson
Head of Brand and Customer Engagement
T: +44 (0) 20 7297 4300
M: +44 (0) 7887 528 698