Marks And Spencer To Partner With Microsoft On AI Retail Programme

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Marks And Spencer To Partner With Microsoft On AI Retail Programme

British retailer Marks and Spencer and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership which will use artificial intelligence (AI) to ‘transform’ retail.

The collaboration will see Microsoft AI engineers work with the Marks and Spencer technology team to research and test the opportunities for technology and AI within a retail environment, with the goal of improving customer experience and optimising operations.

The initiative is part of the company’s ‘Digital First Retailer’ focus, included in its business-wide transformation endeavour, which was announced in November 2017.

Power Of Technology

Steve Rowe, CEO of Marks and Spencer, commented on the project, "M&S is transforming into a Digital First retailer, at a time when the sector is undergoing a customer-led revolution. We want to be at the forefront of driving value into the customer experience using the power of technology.

“Working together with Microsoft to understand the full potential of how technology and artificial intelligence can improve the in-store experience for our customers and the efficiencies of our wider operations could be a game changer for M&S – and for retail.”


"We firmly believe that AI has the power to amplify human ingenuity," explained Cindy Rose, the CEO of Microsoft UK.

"The retail sector is one of the most challenging landscapes in the UK right now and we are thrilled to be working with M&S to explore how AI can help such an iconic brand transform the customer experience and improve wider operations."

Microsoft And Checkout-Free Retail

Reuters recently reported that Microsoft is creating 'checkout-free' retail technology, removing the need for cashiers and checkout lines from stores, according to sources.

This move signals the technology company is stepping up its game against rival Amazon’s automated grocery shop, Amazon Go.


Such technology tie-ups are becoming commonplace in the grocery retail space, with French retailer Carrefour partnering with Google to improve its e-commerce offering and American company Kroger Co. and Sweden's ICA working with etailer Ocado.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.


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