London - Fast Retailing, the Japanese company which owns retailers Uniqlo, J Brand, Theory, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princess Tam-Tam, is teaming up with consultancy and technology services company Accenture to push forward with its goals of creating digital innovation in customer service for the retail industry.

The global partnership will see the two companies form a joint venture working towards creating a new shopping experience for Fast Retailing’s customers, where they can “receive the products they want, when and where they want them,” explained the Japanese retail group.

The aim of the partnership is to create an entirely new service platform that creates a “seamless environment between physical and digital stores” said Fast Retailing, which enables customers to shop when and where they want to, while at the same time reflecting customer feedback in product development and styling.

Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing chairman, president and CEO, said: "Fast Retailing is looking to merge the virtual and real, to maximise the potential of both and create an entirely new industry. Through our partnership with Accenture, we reveal the potential for an all new business, beyond the traditional confines of retail.

“Building a world class business model, we are focused on stores, supply chain, and the development of innovative talent, for the realization of the revolutionary customer experience that our digital age calls for. This is a global phenomenon, and as a business continuing to expand worldwide, I truly believe that we have the ability to transform and to realise it."

Examples of the technology that they hope to develop as part of the partnership includes: supply chain and customer relationship management systems transformed as a cloud-based infrastructure to connect customer, employee and suppliers in near real-time; smart advertisements that interact with and can even be shopped by passersby; digital fitting rooms; the ability to find a product simply by taking a photo of it; and customisable product design.

Gianfranco Casati, group chief executive - growth markets at Accenture, added: "Today's retail customers are a formidable force with shifting expectations, demanding a seamless experience - whether in stores or online - that is on their terms.

“Leading retailers know that digital is the key to creating the seamless experience customers want, and we will work with Fast Retailing to ensure they are making smart investment choices to create new value while ensuring efficient and effective operations across their entire organisation."


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