John LewisDepartment Stores IT director Paul Coby has outlined his IT strategy for the next year in an exclusive interview with CIO UK. He intends to focus on deploying a new web platform, deploying a new POS system and integrating the retailer’s distribution centres.
Coby joined John Lewis Department Stores, a division of John Lewis Partnership six months ago from BA, where he was CIO for around ten years. John Lewis has a growing reliance on its online channel, which it intends to lift to £1bn a year in sales globally next year, according to reports.
However, Coby said the online push would only be achieved if the retailer adopted what he called all-channel retailing, which includes in-store assisted sales and home deliveries and necessitated the refreshes in the other too areas.
Coby said the existing POS system was installed in the 1990s and so was due a swap-out. The distribution centre systems are state-of-the-art, but they needed to be more fully integrated to better support new services, such as late night and same-day deliveries. As part of the strategy, John Lewis customers will also be able to pick up items they have purchased online from a number of Waitrose grocery stores.
Coby was unable to say when these three implementations will be completed or which suppliers would be involved.