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Sainsbury’s to work with Microsoft on AI tools to help customers and staff

Sainsbury’s has signed a deal with Microsoft to use the technology giant’s artificial intelligence tools to help customers and staff.

The supermarket said it will use the technology to create more engaging stores and online shopping experiences for customers, while AI-powered data tools will help staff save time and focus on key tasks.

It will use generative AI to create a more interactive online shopping experience, and improve product searches.

For staff, Sainsbury’s said they will have access to real-time data for certain key processes, such as shelf replenishment, using AI and cameras on shelf edges to guide workers to the specific items that need restocking – saving time and freeing them up to focus on other priorities.

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The supermarket added it will also use AI-powered tools to address customer and staff queries.

Sainsbury's store
Sainsbury’s said the move will improve the customer and staff experience (PA)

Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s chief retail and technology officer, said: “Our collaboration with Microsoft will accelerate our ambition to become the UK’s leading AI-enabled grocer.

“It’s one of the key ways we’re investing in transforming our capabilities over the next three years, enabling us to take another big leap forward in efficiency and productivity, continue to provide leading customer service, and deliver returns for our shareholders.”

Microsoft is one of the biggest companies in the AI space, having created its own AI-powered assistant within its Windows software, Copilot, and is the largest investor in OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT.

Microsoft is expected to announce a wide range of AI-powered updates when it holds its annual developer conference next week.

Clare Barclay, Microsoft UK’s chief executive, said: “Today, Sainsbury’s has laid out a bold vision that puts AI at the heart of its business, accelerating the development of new services which will enhance and transform the customer and colleague experience.

“We are delighted to be working with Sainsbury’s to power the next generation of retail.”