Majid Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based developer, has launched a new service with start-up Fetchr that allows customers to drop off their shopping bags at the mall, and have them delivered to a destination of their choosing.
Gulf News reported at the beginning of April that the two companies had partnered, with Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO Robert Welanetz describing in an interview how his focus was on taking the “backbone” of eCommerce technology and applying it to physical shopping.
The new service, called Hands Free Shopping, has been trialled since December 2016, and was officially rolled out on Thursday.
Initially, it will only be available at Mall of the Emirates.
Fetchr, a Dubai-founded technology start-up, will provide logistical support, utilising its app and GPS locating system to allow shoppers to pinpoint where they want their bags to be delivered, and then transporting them.
“At Mall of the Emirates we continuously adopt unique and innovative services that increase customer convenience and transform the way people shop. Hands Free Shopping revolutionises the traditional shopping journey,” said Hussain Moosa, Director for Mall of the Emirates.
“Customer-centric enhancements through innovation is a top priority,” he added.
In May, Fetchr raised $41 million (Dh151 million) in funding from a number of notable investors, including Majid Al Futtaim, who made up a sizeable chunk of the money, according to Fetchr chief executive Idriss Al Rifai.
Founded in 2012, Fetchr is a logistics company aimed at tackling the issue of physical addresses, a big challenge for eCommerce companies in developing countries.
Welanetz, in the same April interview, said that this kind of technology was currently the “most compelling reason to be involved” in online retail.
“Internet sales are at a very low level now, and whilst we expect them to rise and take that seriously, we do think that if we work on hybrid solutions, we do a better job of embracing the change,” he said.