The five biggest retail tech news stories of the week — Retail Technology Innovation Hub – Retail Technology Innovation Hub

Next has agreed a physical and online retail deal with Gap covering the UK and Ireland, months after the US company said it was shutting all its high street stores in those countries.
Beginning in 2022, a joint venture will see Next operate Gap’s online shopping business via its Total platform, host branded Gap concessions in selected physical locations, and offer Click and Collect options.
Mirakl, a French online marketplaces startup, has announced a $555 million Series E funding round, led by Silver Lake.
The values the nine-year-old venture at roughly $3.5 billion, up from its $1.5 billion valuation in a fundraise in September 2020.
Mirakl sells software to the likes of Carrefour and Best Buy, enabling them to operate online marketplaces that connect customers to merchants.
Big news for the future of online marketplaces! We are proud to announce that Mirakl has raised $555M in Series E funding led by @silverlake_news, w/ participation from investors @83NorthVC, @Elaia_Partners, @FelixCapital & @PermiraNews! #marketplace
Aldi UK is trialling new checkout free technology in one of its London stores.
The discount retailer says that the tech will allow customers to scan a smartphone app to enter the store, pick up their shopping, and walk out without the need to pay at a till.
They will then receive an email receipt and be charged automatically using their chosen payment method.
A press release did not mention where in London the trial is taking place, or which tech firm Aldi is working with on the project.
It did reveal, however, that staff are currently involved in the test, and further testing will be carried out with the public.
Uber Eats says that it is stepping up its battle for the UK everyday grocery delivery market by adding more than 340 Shell forecourt stores across the country to its platform. 
Shell stores were previously on the Deliveroo platform, so it’s a big win for Uber Eats in a space that is red hot right now.
Its customers will now be able to have groceries from Little Waitrose, Jamie Oliver Deli and Budgens delivered “within minutes” through the Uber Eats app.
It’s a battle alright 🚚
Asda has partnered with startup Wayve to test out autonomous vans as part of the grocery giant’s last mile operation. 
The trial will begin in early 2022 and Asda will be the first to commercially test the solution, using Wayve’s deep learning expertise to help navigate complex delivery routes in London.
The vans will operate under the supervision of a Wayve safety driver throughout the 12-month trial.
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