OPERATIONS

Uniqlo creates plan to embark on digital transformation

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

In a move to attract more specialized information technology specialists, Uniqlo is renovating its digital DNA.

The fast-fashion giant — which doesn't have a reputation as a “cutting edge” digital company and struggles to attract the best IT talent — will undergo a digital transformation. Its first step in this strategy: to hire an army of experienced information technology specialists who can help improve operational efficiency and create innovative systems, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Once this team is in place, the company plans to focus on big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Specifically, Uniqlo envisions how AI could help factories, distributors and stores understand — with precision — what the customer wants. This insight will also help the chain reduce excessive inventory. Meanwhile, by analyzing big data on consumer behavior, Uniqlo could make recommendations on clothes or deliver the right product at the right time to a specific customer, the report said.

The company is already taking steps to rebrand itself as a digitally-innovative company. Earlier this month, the Japanese retailer announced it would begin rolling out 6-ft.-high vending machines at airports and malls across the United States.

The devices will enable customers to purchase T-shirts and lightweight down jackets. Customers use a touchscreen to select shirt and jacket styles, colors and sizes. Purchases can be made via credit or debit card, and unwanted items can be returned in-store or via mail.

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