Marks & Spencer Food centralizes merchandising with AI

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The grocery banner of a British retail giant is unifying its forecasting, ordering, and allocation processes.

Marks & Spencer Food is deploying artificial intelligence (AI)-based merchandising technology from Relex Solutions across its 1,050 stores and 13 distribution centers throughout the U.K. and Ireland. As part of a broader supply chain modernization and corporate transformation plan, the retailer seeks to improve forecasting accuracy, remove manual interventions for tasks such as weather prediction or planning promotions, and ultimately unify the end-to-end supply chain.

The grocer will utilize Relex tools for workflows including forecasting, fresh optimization, store and distribution center ordering, allocations, and capacity and delivery flow smoothing. Marks & Spencer Food also hopes to bring awareness of store shelf space into supply chain planning, as well as enhance efficiency and visibility throughout the supply chain and maximize sales while reducing food waste. 

The retailer based its decision to deploy the solution partially on its ability to leverage AI and machine learning to automate processes and make informed, accurate supply chain decisions.

“Relex’s ability to quickly deliver insight and accuracy across forecasting, ordering, and allocation within a single platform will significantly increase the efficiency of our day-to-day business operation,” said George Wright, commercial director at Marks & Spencer Food. “Relex is an important part of our vision of modernizing the end-to-end supply chain. We very much look forward to achieving exceptional results as a result of this project.”