River Island, a fashion retailer with 245 stores in the UK and a growing international footprint, is still fully owned by the Lewis family that founded it over half a century ago. But for all its traditional retail roots, “family-owned” and “bricks-and-mortar” do not mean the company is looking backwards. River Island was one of the first high street retailers to launch online in the late 1990s and is now taking a very forward-looking approach to deploying technology inside its physical stores as well.
River Island’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Adam Warne told The Stack that the company is progressively ingesting more external data sources to build predictive models. These, powered by machine learning, are unearthing insights it could never have predicted using traditional methods -- including from stock and staff activity – and using these to transform customer experience via in-store applications, as well as improving sustainability performance.