Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Learning Labs Ltd has signed a deal that will see 20,000 packs of its FlashSticks® product stocked in 100 Tesco Extra stores across the UK. The initial three-month trial may lead to every Tesco supermarket stocking the product.
FlashSticks® is a foreign language learning system, which incorporates 3M’s globally recognised Post-it Note® technology. Uniquely printed, colour-coded Post-it® Notes contain a foreign word, translation, visual icon and phonetic to help with pronunciation. The product retails for £4.99, while a free app enables the user to ‘wave’ their smartphone or tablet over any FlashSticks® Post-it® Note to hear the precise pronunciation on a video clip. Flashsticks® will be displayed in Tesco Extra stores alongside other ‘back to school’ products.
Carolina Perez-Amaya, Buyer – Stationery for Tesco said: “We are always on the lookout for innovative products that will have broad appeal with our customers. While FlashSticks® will initially be featured within our back to school promotions, the foreign language learning system is also ideal for adults seeking to learn a new language. The fun and interactive Post-it® Notes will be very useful for families to use before travelling abroad on holiday, which makes it an ideal product for Tesco.”
The FlashSticks® range is also available in all 500 WHSmiths stores, as well as in Staples stores and from online retailer Amazon. The language learning packs are available for French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Mandarin, English and British Sign Language.
Veejay Lingiah, CEO of Learning Labs said: “For Tesco –the UK’s largest retailer – to stock FlashSticks® is a fantastic milestone for us. It was only two years ago when we came to the Innovation Birmingham Campus to establish the business, and now have a team of 12 people working on product development and new distribution channels.
“To coincide with Tesco stocking FlashSticks®, we will be launching a whole new range of exciting digital features to complement our physical product range. The new FlashSticks® app will enable users to scan any random object for an instant translation, as well as providing a host of fun challenges to test their learning. “
The idea for FlashSticks® came from Learning Labs’ Director Richard Allen, who whilst on a business trip, started to use hand-written Post-it Notes® around his hotel room as a way to learn Spanish. Although the method was effective, he felt that pre-printed notes could make it so much easier. After establishing how the concept would work best, it took a year to develop the initial product range – alongside Learning Labs’ strategic manufacturing partner 3M – which enables Post-it® Notes to be printed with different vocabulary boosting information.
Since Flashsticks® products were first launched onto the market in 2013, over 150,000 packs have been ordered. The start-up has secured over £500,000 of investment to forward fund production costs and further develop the product in many more languages.
The FlashSticks® brand trademark has been registered and there is a UK Patent pending. For further product information, or to place an order, visit www.flash-sticks.com.