Remember Norwegian ‘Paraplyselskapet AS’, who came up with the world’s first fully connected umbrella vending machines? Well, Springwise guess they hit a bit of a rainy spot (maybe it was their name?), as the company is basically inactive these days. So bad idea, end of story? Not really: UK-based Umbrolly has resurrected the concept, and is busy installing machines all over London. There are currently 10 of them dotted around London, with a further 10 out at the end of this month. Machines sell approximately 50 umbrellas per machine per rainfall day. They also signed a deal to place the machines exclusively across the London Underground and will have 150 units on the network by the end of 2005. International expansion is also in the works: the company is in talks with location providers in Germany, Holland and the US.
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