UK Retailer John Lewis Launches $127 Million Google Cloud Partnership

UK Retailer John Lewis Launches $127M Google Cloud Partnership

British department store company John Lewis Partnership is the latest retailer investing in artificial intelligence (AI).

The company has undertaken a 100 million pound (about $127 million) partnership with Google Cloud as it moves to push its brands John Lewis and Waitrose further into the digital space, according to a Wednesday (Aug. 9) press release.

The agreement will see more of the company move onto the cloud, harnessing technologies such as advanced AI and machine learning (ML), the company said in the release.

The tools will let John Lewis Partnership workers be more efficient, spend more time with customers, and better use data insights to help curate products and services, according to the release.

“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,” said John Lewis Partnership Chief Transformation and Technology Officer Zak Mian in the release. “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.”

The idea of using AI to offer consumers a vision of what could be is a popular one these days.

For example, German shoe/fashion retailer Zalando debuted an AI-powered body measurement tool last month to help shoppers easily determine their ideal size just by using two photos of themselves.

Also last month, Google introduced its own AI-driven virtual try-on feature, making the tool free for brands that take part in its merchant program.

John Lewis Partnership’s effort comes as Google is enjoying strong growth thanks to its AI ventures. The company’s latest earnings showed its Cloud business revenue growing by 28%.

“We intuitively know how to integrate AI into our products,” Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai told investors during an earnings call.

“Google Cloud infrastructure is optimized for AI, and more than 70% of generative AI unicorns are Google Cloud customers,” he added.

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