David Jones seals multichannel tech deal

IBM has won the tender process to become the provider of David Jones’ new multi-channel retail (MCR) systems platform.
Under the terms of its appointment IBM will develop “an end-to-end multi-channel e-commerce platform (the IBM Smarter Commerce Solution) for David Jones that will enable it to provide
customers with a seamless customer experience across its physical stores, its online stores and mobile devices,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

IBM will develop and integrate David Jones’ online web design, its application development, social media, promotions, analytics and reporting as well as back end capabilities for order and inventory management and fulfilment.

The first phase of the solution will be rolled out in the second half of calendar 2012 as part of a stepped approach, with the following phase going live in 2013. The value of the project is undisclosed.

David Jones said the IBM Smarter Commerce Solution will “leverage the knowledge, expertise and leading practice models that IBM has implemented for major department stores globally”.

“These retailers have successfully utilised IBM’s Smarter Commerce Solution to significantly transform themselves into multi-channel retail businesses which deliver profitable growth,” said David Jones CEO Paul Zahra.

“Our appointment of IBM to deliver an end-to-end MCR platform, in addition to our increased investment in technology including a new POS system is indicative of our new strategic focus and commitment to transforming our business into a fully integrated multi-channel retailer.”
The IBM arrangement and the company’s investment in technology and information systems will be funded from its annual capital expenditure throughout the rollout of its MCR strategy. Further details about the rollout of the Company’s MCR Strategy and key milestones will be provided as part of the company’s Investment Market update.

At the same time as announcing the IBM contract, David Jones announced the resignation of Karen McLachlan the company’s group executive of IT. Her duties will be taken over by Antony Karp in a newly created role of group executive retail services. The new role incorporates Karp’s current head of retail development role comprising property, projects, procurement and environmental initiatives with the IT responsibility.

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