C&A and Palantir partner to use AI on product purchasing and inventory

Steven Loeb · May 23, 2023 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/56cf

Built on Palantir's Foundry platform, it generates purchase recommendations for C&A's products

The fashion industry produces 13 million tons of waste globally each year, which is projected to increase by 60% between 2015 and 2030. This is a result, in large part, of manufacturers overproducing: every season 30% of clothes produced are never sold, leading to more loses of over $500 billion.  

Retailers need better insights into what's selling and what their customers want, which is where artificial intelligence enters the picture, using data and analytics to inform fashion forecasting. That involves using research to predict future buying habits, including both long-term and short-term forecasting.

That's why Palantir Technologies announced that it has partnered with retail chain C&A to develop an Integrated Management Flow system. Using the Palantir Foundry platform, it provides alerts about when best-selling items need to restocked.

C&A operates roughly 1,300 stores in Europe and approximately 300 stores in Brazil as well as websites for online shopping. The company' brands include Angelo Litrico, Avanti, Clockhouse, Here+There, Palomino, Rodeo, Westbury, Yessica, Yessica Pure, and Your Sixth Sense.

Palantir has been implementing the software for the last three months, processing and generating purchase recommendations for all of C&A's best-selling products; as a result, it was able to influence long-term inventory planning, sales seasonality, product performance variations, financial criteria, and other factors and C&A says it was able to identify several opportunities to improve inventory management.

"We are the first Brazilian fashion retail brand to rely on this artificial intelligence technology. The flow developed allowed us to optimize and speed up the entire purchase process: from the initial planning, to sending the products to the stores. Among the significant gains, I'd highlight the increase of sales of products that were in stock and the reduction of unnecessary overstock," said Bruno Ferreira, Planning and Business Intelligence Director for C&A Brazil, in a statement. 

The majority of retailers have incorporated AI and machine learning: showed 71% of retail respondents say that AI and ML currently leads their IT/business strategy, including 62% who use the technology to predict business performance and 61% who use it for data analysis, while 56% use it as a driver of innovation and 52% use it to improve speed and efficiency, as well as to reduce risk in the future.

Of course, as much as retailers are embracing AI, there are still roadblocks, including a trust gap, with 55% of retailers saying they encountered pushback or scrutiny about the penetration of AI/ML in their organization and only 30% saying there are strongly enough checks and balances in place to avoid the negative consequences of AI/ML.

Organizations also seem to be split on whether or not they trust the results they get from this technology, as 35% said they slightly trust them, and slightly less, 33%, said they strongly trust them.

(Image source: c-and-a.com)

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