Nine Skolkovo startups are heading to the French capital this week to exhibit their innovative solutions at Paris Retail Week, one of the biggest events in the European retail industry.

Paris Retail Week attracts visitors and participants from all over the world. Photo: Paris Retail Week.

Paris Retail Week, which runs from September 19-21 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, is being held for the third time, having incorporated two events: E-Commerce Paris, and the Digital[in]Store show dedicated to digital trade and distribution. 

“Helping startups to develop international sales is one of the key tasks of the Skolkovo Foundation,” said Olga Strelova, director of the centre of innovative technologies for retail within Skolkovo’s IT cluster. 

Four of the companies whose solutions will be on show at the Skolkovo stand at Paris Retail Week are planning to open European offices, while the others plan to promote their products and services on the European market via local intermediaries. 

“Some of the startups taking part in Paris Retail Week are already cooperating with European chains and producers, and their presence at the exhibition will help them to firm up their position on  foreign markets. Those who are still at the stage of planning to expand can use their experience at the event to study demand for their solutions in Europe, and to compare themselves with their competitors,” said Strelova. 

Throughout Paris Retail Week, the Skolkovo stand will host seminars and sessions devoted to innovations in retail. On September 19, the first day of the event, the seminar will cover how digital technologies can transform offline retail. The next day, the session will be devoted to improving the customer experience, and Thursday’s event will cover delivery.

“All of these topics were suggested by the organiser as the most in demand issues,” says Strelova. “Our startups have plenty to share on these subjects.”

Olga Strelova, head of the Skolkovo Foundation's centre of innovative technologies for retail. Photo:

At the end of Paris Retail Week, the Russian startups will head to the northern French city of Lille, where they will hold meetings with the head offices of major retailers including the hypermarket chain Auchan and the home improvement giant Leroy Merlin, as well as accelerators specialising in retail.

Major French companies have visited the Skolkovo innovation city in recent months in search of innovative talent, including the Decathlon Group sports store chain, the pharmaceutical company Servier, the tyre-maker Michelin and Auchan.

The nine Skolkovo resident startups taking part in Paris Retail Week are: 

TRY.FIT, which scans customers’ feet and finds the best fitting shoes for them.

Texel, a “smart changing room” that produces a 3D body scan of customers and then helps them to find clothing to suit their proportions, style and budget. 

GoodsForecast, a system that helps retailers to predict demand, manage stock, project sales and optimise production. 

IntraMarket, “smart shelving” that is fitted with a video frame that tells the customer more about the item on the shelf. It also identifies the shopper’s age and gender, and displays targeted content accordingly. 

Timebook, a time management system that automises tasks and processes.

Damask, the maker of a “never-ending shelf,” in which the internet catalogue of a store is integrated with the catalogue on the shop floor, so that if the product is not on the shelf, the service tells the customer whether it is in other stores or in storage, and the customer can use the system to order the item there and then. 

CargoOnline, a system that uses big data and cloud computing to manage the transportation of goods by road. 

Market Music, which will be showing its Market Player platform, a system that tracks the number of visitors, their gender and age in a store in real time, and uses that data to select audio and video content and special offers targeting those population groups. 

Inspector Cloud, an automated stocktaking system that uses computer vision to detect when shelves are depleted of stock.