Kingfisher taps Google Cloud to help “usher in retail’s next digital age”

Kingfisher has announced a new , five-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud to enhance the group’s digital capabilities to help “usher in retail’s next digital age”.

The group, which owns both B&Q and Screwfix, will hope to capitalise on Google Cloud’s infrastructure, platform services, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

Kingfisher brands will have access to greater website uptime, better forecasting, more seamless customer-centric experiences, improved personalisation, and world-class engineering support from Google Cloud.

The B&Q-owner is one of the largest SAP enterprise users in Europe and is already migrating on-premise legacy workloads to Google Cloud.

This helps to unlock faster and more flexible access to its existing data as it prepares for the digital future. At the same time, Google Cloud’s open approach will allow Kingfisher to continue with its multicloud strategy.

By adopting tech from Google Cloud, Kingfisher will be able to streamline its existing ecommerce platform, while experimenting with advanced testing environments at much lower cost.

It hopes that this will enable it to react effectively to shifting market conditions.

“At Kingfisher, we have an ambitious technology strategy in place. Google Cloud is an engineering organisation at its heart, while simultaneously understanding the complex retail landscape,” Kingfisher chief digital and technology office JJ Van Oosten said.

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“As we look to the next phase of growth and the kind of talent we want to attract, this meeting of minds was a real draw for us.

“To reach our goal of creating a world-class engineering centre, we need a technology stack that will support us to experiment and move quickly.

“Google Cloud is helping to position us as a true digital leader, and our global teams and customers will benefit as a result.”

One of the projects that comes under the new partnership is to replatform Screwfix’s ecommerce site to make it one-hundred times faster.

B&Q will also now be able to scale up from 300,000 products online to more than four million in the coming years, thanks to the growth of its online marketplace.

A new real-time order system will vastly improve stock accuracy, and deploy visual search using Google Cloud AI tools to help customers discover the product replacements that most closely match their needs.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian added: “We’re proud to work with Kingfisher to optimise, accelerate, and grow its ambitions.

“Partnering with global retail leaders like Kingfisher to help create even better in-store and online shopping experiences for customers is a key indicator of the power of the cloud to digitally transform retail.”



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