Smart energy boost for Banbury and Milton Keynes

Visitors to Banbury Gateway Shopping Park and MK1 Shopping Park and Leisure Park will no longer have to worry about their mobile phone battery fading away while they shop.


09 June 2016

Shoppers are now able to use the parks' innovative new Strawberry Smart Benches to power-up their Android and iPhone mobiles, along with other mobile devices with USB connections. They are the first smart benches to be installed outside of London and on a retail park.

Designed by Serbian company Strawberry Energy, these smart platforms use solar energy to power gadgets without the need for electricity, therefore encouraging greener, cleaner energy use in the community. The Crown Estate has invested in the state-of-the-art bench, which enhances the business’ aspirations to develop its environmental credentials.

Jo Francis, Head of Retail Property Management for The Crown Estate commented: “The Crown Estate is delighted to partner with Strawberry Energy to install these multi functional smart benches across our retail schemes, as we continually strive to improve our shopping environments and respond to our consumers ever changing technology needs.”

This innovative street furniture launched in London’s Canary Wharf in October 2015 and was recently chosen as a winner of the ‘Connecting people and Creating Communities’ competition, organised by the Institute for Sustainability in partnership with the Mayor of London’s Office and supported by EIT Digital.

Miloš Milisavljević, CEO and founder of Strawberry energy commented: “The appeal of mobile phones and internet has changed people’s shopping habits, influencing their decisions and how they spend time in store. By responding to these changing digital needs, new technologies have the power to create a more enjoyable experience. We are glad that The Crown Estate shares the same vision and hope that we will jointly continue enhancing shoppers’ experiences in even more destinations across the UK”.

The highly practical Smart Benches can charge a phone battery from 0-100% in the same time as it would take at home, and it only takes 10 minutes to enliven your phone, ready for more shopping. The benches can also cleverly track air quality and noise levels in the surrounding area around the Banbury Gateway and MK1 Shopping Parks.