TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft, British retail giant in artificial intelligence deal

BY Marianne Wilson

Marks & Spencer Group is exploring artificial intelligence through a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp.

The collaboration is focused on testing the integration of Microsoft AI technologies into M&S’ customer experience, stores and wider operations. The two companies will work together to explore how artificial intelligence can be used the retail environment to improve customer experience and optimize operations.

As part of the deal, a team of AI engineers and product personnel from Microsoft will partner with the M&S retail labs team to accelerate M&S’ digital transformation. The initiative is in line with M&S’ five-year transformation plan that it unveiled last November, with a goal of become a “digital first” business.

“We want to be at the forefront of driving value into the customer experience using the power of technology,” said Steve Rowe, CEO, M&S. “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.”

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