River Island introduces machine learning to improve store stock forecasting

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River Island has introduced machine learning technology to help it anticipate spikes in demand for products.

The London-based retailer will introduce software from Nextail, which uses historical sales and stock data alongside information about different stores and promotions to predict how products will perform in the future. With new products, the algorithms can draw data from similar products based on shared attributes to forecast how it will perform.

River Island will deploy the technology in its stores across Europe and Asia.

Douglas Gardner, CIO at River Island, said: “For us being digital is not just about having a cool app or a cool website. It’s about the whole organisation being able to move very rapidly to deploy quickly when things move in the market.”

“Nextail’s tech fits in perfectly with the digital transformation we’ve made across the business. Its automation means we’re now able to act rapidly with merchandise, which suits the agile processes we’ve implemented internally and ultimately benefits our customers.”

“We’re now able to act rapidly with merchandise, which suits the agile processes we’ve implemented internally and ultimately benefits our customers.”

River Island has focused on attracting tech talent, with 300 employees now working in technology, and has also implemented features such as endless aisles in stores. These connect physical shoppers to an online catalogue via handheld technology.

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