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Sainsbury’s and Microsoft Team Up for AI Revolution in Retail

Sainsbury’s has recently entered into a five-year partnership with Microsoft, aiming to leverage Microsoft’s AI and machine learning capabilities to support its Next Level strategy.

Sainsbury’s officials believe this move will enhance overall store operations, empower staff with real-time data, and improve customer service and profitability.

“Our collaboration with Microsoft will accelerate our ambition to become the UK’s leading AI-enabled grocer,” stated Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s Chief Retail and Technology Officer.

“This is one of the key ways we’re investing in transforming our capabilities over the next three years, enabling us to take a significant step forward in efficiency and productivity, continue to provide leading customer service, and deliver returns for our shareholders.”

Sainsbury’s expects the deal to be transformational in three key ways:

Enhanced customer experiences: Sainsbury’s will use generative AI to create a more interactive online shopping experience and improve customers’ search capabilities, making shopping more efficient and engaging.

Empowered store colleagues: Store colleagues will have access to real-time data and insights for key processes, such as smarter shelf replenishment. AI will integrate multiple data inputs, including shelf edge cameras, guiding colleagues to the shelves that need restocking. This will save valuable time and ensure sales opportunities are not missed. Sainsbury’s store colleagues will have more time to focus on what matters to customers, with AI-guided support to address queries effectively in the moment, improving efficiency and delivering leading service.

Data powering the Sainsbury’s business, built on smart cloud foundations: Combining Sainsbury’s data assets with Microsoft 365 collaboration tools, generative AI, and machine learning capabilities will enable Sainsbury’s to continue driving returns through its Save and invest to win programme. This transformation will enhance operations, facilitate better decision-making, and run a more efficient business, all delivered through Microsoft Azure as part of Sainsbury’s cloud ecosystem.

Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK, praised Sainsbury’s initiative: “Today, Sainsbury’s has laid out a bold vision that places AI at the core of its business, accelerating the development of new services that will enhance and transform the customer and colleague experience. We are delighted to be working with Sainsbury’s to power the next generation of retail.”


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