Scentre Group invests in mPort

mPort, technology, scentreScentre Group will roll out 3D body-mapping pods to all of its Westfield shopping centres across Australia after taking an equity stake in Sydney-based tech startup, mPort.

mPort pods allow shoppers to get their body measured within a matter of minutes and use this information to find clothes that fit. The transaction will involve Scentre Group promoting mPort to its retailers in return for taking equity in the business.

To date, 13 pods have been installed in Westfield shopping centres around the country, including in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and Adelaide. Dipra Ray, MD and CEO of mPort, said the partnership is “game changer” for both Scentre Group and mPort.

“It is very exciting that a large corporate has seen the potential of mPort, and that as a market leader they are embracing the innovations we are bringing to Australian retailing and are prepared to put their resources behind it,” Ray said.

“We see this as an opportunity to extend our reach, and attract more major retail brands onto our platform. We have had a very strong response to the initial rollout of our pods, with queues forming as customers want to experience it for themselves. Over 40,000 people have already been measured, and these numbers are growing on average by 1500 per week,” Ray said.

Ray said the agreement between Scentre and mPort is not exclusive, with scope for mPort to extend its offering to other shopping centres. Adding the technology has applications beyond fashion, such as the health and fitness industry. “We believe there is potential for us to build a range of partnerships,” he said.

The agreement follows the launch of a pilot digital partnership with Scentre and the Commonwealth Bank, which sends offers to Commonwealth Bank customers’ smartphones based on their location.

Being tested at Westfield Hornsby in Sydney’s North, the app will send out relevant offers to customers who have an iPhone 5 or above who have opted-in to receive offers. Around 20 speciality stores at Westfield Hornsby have signed up to the pilot including Chemmart, InBloom Florists, Shores Restaurant, and various food retailers within the centre. Majors including Myer, McDonald’s, and Country Road are also participating.

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