TOKYO, June 15, 2015 - (JCN Newswire) - 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.
About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing
UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO. With global sales of approximately 1.38 trillion yen for the 2014 fiscal year ending August 31, 2014 (US $13.3 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2014 rate of $1 = 103.74 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world's largest apparel retail companies, and UNIQLO is Japan's leading specialty retailer.
UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world's most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. Today the company has a total of more than 1,500 stores in 16 markets worldwide including Japan, Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and the U.S. In addition, Grameen UNIQLO, a social business established in Bangladesh in September 2010, currently operates several Grameen UNIQLO stores in Dhaka. UNIQLO manages an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel. The company believes that truly great clothes should be supremely comfortable, feature universal designs, are of high quality and offer a superb fit to everyone who wears them.
With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit www.uniqlo.com and www.fastretailing.com.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 323,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US $30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com
Accenture Digital, comprised of Accenture Analytics, Accenture Interactive and Accenture Mobility, offers a comprehensive portfolio of business and technology services across digital marketing, mobility and analytics. From developing digital strategies to implementing digital technologies and running digital processes on their behalf, Accenture Digital helps clients leverage connected and mobile devices; extract insights from data using analytics; and enrich end-customer experiences and interactions, delivering tangible results from the virtual world and driving growth. Learn more about Accenture Digital at www.accenture.com/digital
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