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IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

IREU Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

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How leading IRUK Top500 retailers Argos and John Lewis are investing in technology

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A customer uses digital technology at Argos' Redhill stores
A customer uses digital technology at Argos' Redhill stores

Argos is recruiting 150 new permanent tech staff as it works to make shopping – both online and offline – more convenient for customers.

 

The news means that the retailer will see its team expand quickly as it looks to develop new solutions that meet shoppers’ needs, building on solutions such as its Fast Track same-day delivery and collection services.

 

Roles being sought include software development engineers and managers as well as machine-learning and Big Data specialists, to be based at Argos’ Victoria tech hub or at its Milton Keynes head office.

 

"It’s great to see a British business like Argos leading in tech," said Argos chief executive John Rogers. "Around 60% of our business today starts online and over 70% of those sales are on mobile devices. This investment in our people will ensure we remain at the forefront of retail technology."

 

The news comes in the week that Argos has unveiled a new You’re Good to Go brand campaign that emphasises the way that multichannel retailer’s delivery and collection services flex around fast-paced family lives. The crosschannel campaign starts tomorrow and will run on TV, digital, social, in-store and in print. It is based on Operation Holiday, as a family organises itself to get away. The campaign was developed with The&Partnership.

 

Meanwhile, department store John Lewis said this week that it would be expanding its JLAB retail technology programme. Up till now the programme, which was started in 2014 and sees technology start-ups develop relevant software within the John Lewis environment, has run for 12 weeks at a time. Now it is to run for a year, offering three chances for established businesses as well as start-ups, to prove their technology, with opportunities both at Waitrose and at John Lewis.

 

"As more and more businesses face digital disruption, it’s increasingly important for the Partnership to stay committed to the ideals of our founder, John Spedan Lewis, by experimenting and nurturing innovation both inside and outside our business," said John Lewis Partnership resident futurologist John Vary. "This is exactly why we have created a completely new JLAB for 2018. We wanted to take the programme to the next level by launching more events but with a focus on themes we feel are most significant to our customers as well as the future of retail. We’re excited to see the market-challenging ideas businesses will put forward.”

 

Applications for JLAB 2018 are now open at jlab.co.uk and will close at midnight on May 25, when the programme will choose businesses to pitch in June 2018.

 

Image courtesy of Sainsbury’s Argos

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