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This week’s choice quotes from the retail technology world…

“We are disappointed by the fact that XPO and Sports Direct are clearly only interested in the stock in the warehouse. They couldn’t care less about our members or their livelihoods. This whole stand off – during which our members have been left in limbo – has been about commodities – not people. Our members have been left by the wayside, while XPO and Sports Direct fight like rabid dogs over the bones of House of Fraser.” Alan Costello, GMB Organiser

“The digital giants occupy the commanding heights of the economy. Their business model is universal in ambition: the extraction and analysis of ever-more data for profit, and the control of the digital infrastructure on which we all depend. 

Instead of a world where digital power is concentrated in the hands of the few, we need to build a digital commonwealth, where data and the digital infrastructure are organised as an open, collective good to drive inclusive innovation.” Mat Lawrence, Senior Research Fellow at IPPR

“JD was the first company to introduce the paying membership model to the Chinese e-commerce market, and we’re delighted to see millions of users enjoying the convenience and exclusive benefits offered by JD Plus. As offerings available to members expand to areas beyond traditional e-commerce, such as lifestyle and financial services, we will continue to create a retail membership experience that is unmatched in the industry.” Chunhui Meng, Head of JD Plus

“Everyone is talking about how artificial intelligence (AI) will transform retail, from chatbots and robot-driven warehouses to increasing personalisation. But it is by no means a magic bullet and there are a variety of decisions that have to be carefully considered.” Valter Andersson, Technical Solutions Manager, Nosto

“Despite the fact that fewer of us now shop in bricks and mortar stores, lower staffing levels often mean there are still queues at the pay desk, which can be frustrating. In this age when payments can be made instantly with a mobile phone, for example, these delays seem like a relic of the past to busy shoppers – and another reason to shop online.” Julian Fisher, jisp CEO

“Despite all the headlines about the ‘retail apocalypse’, I passionately believe that there’s never been a more exciting time to be at the intersection of retail and technology. No doubt, the challenges are real. Changing consumer preferences, intense industry disruption, and the ubiquitous nature of commerce means we are all reinventing ourselves every day. Giving brands the tools they need to build great relationships with their consumers is critical, and retailers whose systems don’t make it easy to create those relationships are at a serious disadvantage.” Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President of Retail & CPG, Microsoft

“To reach a market capitalisation of over $1 trillion is impressive. To do it in a little over 24 years is extraordinary. That Amazon has achieved this demonstrates its dramatic advancement in both the retail and technology sectors, as well as the influence it now wields over large parts of the consumer landscape.” Neil Saunders, Managing Director, GlobalData Retail

“Retail has lagged behind the technology curve for years, and it’s no wonder legacy retailers are losing ground to Amazon and other online-native retailers who are now opening bricks and mortar stores. Today’s shopper has evolved, and they bring with them heightened expectations when they shop…they expect the in-store experience to be authentic, friction-free, and story-driven. These are all things that in-store technologies can help.” HighStreet Collective Co-founder Laura Davis-Taylor

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The retail technology week in numbers

The retail technology week in numbers

Voice tech can revolutionise shopping, Argos

Voice tech can revolutionise shopping, Argos