UK Retailer Sainsbury’s Predicts that 3D Printing will Shake up the Retail Sector

Large UK retailer Sainsbury is already preparing it’s strategy for incorporating 3D printing into it’s offerings to outpace it’s competitors. Sainsbury’s IT director, Rob Fraser believes that 3D printing will effect the retail sector in ways they cannot yet even conceive.

Sainsbury's Local on opening day

At Shapeways, we have been nurturing our 3D marketplace of 3D printed products for years as some of the best designers from all around the world are opening Shapeways shops and selling their 3D printed products on demand. Those designers are fully aware of the benefits of using 3D printing to make their products available to the public. The major benefits for designers being:

  • Designers do not need to invest financially in the product as all items are 3D printed on demand.
  • There is no inventory so no parts management.
  • Shapeways handles all production so designers do not need to source third party manufacturers.
  • Designers do not need to handle distribution, import or export duties, so they can sell to a worldwide audience with no additional complexities.
  • Shapeways handles all customer service, so designers can concentrate on what they do best, designing.

This works really well with the Shapeways business model that is all about empowering designers to sell their own products, and for anyone to buy those 3D printed products designed by some of the best designers around the world. It will be interesting to see how Sainsbury can leverage the same technology to be powerful enough to compete with what the Shapeways community has to offer, let alone their existing competitors.

Great to see it is on their radar.