Struggling Fashion Retailer H&M Bets on AI, Big Data to Revitalize Supply Chain

Former industry disruptor H&M is turning to technology to regain profitability after posting its biggest profit drop in six years.

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Fast-fashion retailer H&M is turning to technology as it looks to regain profitability after it posted its biggest profit drop in six years, down 14 percent in the year ending November 2017 to $2.6 billion.

Once an industry disruptor, H&M is using data insights in an effort to avoid bad product cycles by building a more flexible and faster supply chain. In order for the fast-fashion model to succeed, which provides trendy, often lesser quality clothing for a low cost, the retailer must predict market trends to avoid further inventory discounting.

The retailer also hopes big data and artificial intelligence (AI) can help it better stock individual stores with merchandise that matches local demand. For example, analyzing returns, receipts and loyalty card data offers data to tailor merchandise for each store.

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