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Last Updated: 2015.06.15

Fast Retailing and Accenture Jointly Announce a Partnership Towards Digital Innovation in Customer Service

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Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. ("Fast Retailing") and Accenture today jointly announce the establishment of a partnership towards digital innovation in customer service. To this end, in digitizing a wide range of its functions and advancing the IT reforms that are required, Fast Retailing aims to realize an entirely new industry. Expanding on the long-standing relationship that exists between the two companies, Fast Retailing and Accenture have agreed that they will explore ways to expand their collaboration to deliver a customized experience for individual customers and deeper engagement across all retail channels. Longer term, the partnership may be formalized in a joint venture between the two companies, subject to board and regulatory approvals.

Fast Retailing is working towards creating a new shopping experience for its customers, where they can receive the products they want, when and where they want them. This means developing a seamless environment between physical and digital stores to allow customers to shop when and where they want to, while at the same time reflecting customer feedback in product development and styling. In addition, entirely digitizing operations significantly reduces the lead time from product planning to sales, while operating in the cloud provides access to a range of information and technologies. In short, the initiative aims for an entirely new service platform.

Commenting on today's announcement, Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing Chairman, President & CEO, said, "Fast Retailing is looking to merge the virtual and real, to maximize 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." He added, "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 realize it."

Gianfranco Casati, group chief executive - Growth Markets at Accenture, said, "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 organization."

Under the joint initiative, Accenture will help build the technology platform to collect the actionable customer insights that will enable the customized experience for individual customers. For example, the technology, including supply chain and customer relationship management systems, will be fully transformed as a cloud-based infrastructure aiming at connecting customer, employee, and suppliers in near real-time. The digital commerce capabilities needed to transform the customer experience will also be provided by Accenture.

Accenture will help Fast Retailing to recruit the talent necessary to build an enhanced customer experience team, seeking candidates with skills in digital technologies including mobility, analytics, and cloud. The two companies will together create an advisory panel that includes leading academia, opinion leaders, and start-up companies, to help shape Fast Retailing's future digital services for its customers.

Fast Retailing, partnering with Accenture plans to improve service levels, by strengthening in-house systems and infrastructure in line with operational changes, for fast and flexible response. Finally, using cutting-edge digital solutions, they propose to seamlessly connect physical and digital stores, to pursue convenience and an optimal shopping experience.

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