The John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest employee-owned company, has formed a strategic partnership with Google Cloud, worth £100m over the next five years. The move represents a major expansion of the successful relationship it has had with Google since 2012.
This collaboration marks a significant step forward in the John Lewis Partnership’s digital transformation of its brands, John Lewis and Waitrose, and its ambitions to provide customers with even more tailored and personalised experiences.
Under the expanded agreement, more of the organisation’s technology will migrate to Google Cloud, harnessing the cloud provider’s latest and most innovative technologies, including advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These tools will enable the John Lewis Partnership workforce, known as Partners, to be more efficient, spend more time focusing on customers, and better use data insights to help curate great products and services.
The investment in Google Cloud is a fundamental part of the John Lewis Partnership’s transformation story. The company’s strategy of creating brilliant in-store and online experiences has already been successful in attracting more customers this year. This partnership with Google Cloud will take its retail experience to the next level – both in-store, and via its digital platforms, including JohnLewis.com, Waitrose.com, and its owned mobile apps. Moreover, the agreement will support the John Lewis Partnership’s ambition to get closer to its customers by creating a pan-Partnership loyalty programme in 2024.
Nish Kankiwala, CEO at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Investing in cutting edge technology is not just a choice, it’s a necessity for a modern retailer like us. Core to our strategy is building our technology infrastructure for the long term, drawing on latest innovations to benefit our customers.”
Zak Mian, chief transformation and technology officer at the John Lewis Partnership, added: “At the John Lewis Partnership we’ve always been focused at finding better ways to do business. Today’s announcement marks a significant step in transforming our technology, and ensures that our Partners have the best tools to provide our customers with even more personalised experiences, across all our channels.
“Imagine a world where a customer can use an image scanning feature in their John Lewis App to show our Home Design Stylists a room they’re looking to furnish, which tells us all we need to know about the intricacies of the space, layout and measurements. Not only does it save customers a lot of time and hassle, but even before the appointment we can take inspiration from their unique preferences and give tailored recommendations that can even complement products they already have. We’re looking forward to an era of fresh innovation.”
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said: “As an innovative British retailer with a strong commitment to customer service, the John Lewis Partnership is always looking for new ways to reinvent how it does business.
“By turning to Google Cloud’s leading AI and ML tools, John Lewis will help transform the Partner experience, which in turn will deliver a better and more seamless experience for its customers.”
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