Kingfisher, the owner of UK home improvement brands B&Q and Screwfix, has signed a five-year deal with Google Cloud as part of a push to revamp its e-commerce platforms and digital offerings for its customers.
The firm operates 1,500 stores across the UK and Ireland, France, Poland, Romania and Iberia and has 80,000 full-time employees, and has turned to Google Cloud for support with its digital transformation plans.
Kingfisher said it plans to draw on Google Cloud’s portfolio of infrastructure and artificial intelligence services to improve its demand forecasting processes, bolster the reliability of its digital platforms and enhance the experience for its customers through personalisation.
The company is already moving its on-premise SAP workloads to the Google Cloud platform, which it says will provide faster and more ready access to the data it needs to overhaul the digital side of its business.
It is also planning to draw on Google Cloud’s expertise to re-platform the Screwfix e-commerce site to make it more speedy and efficient to use, and increase the number of product lines B&Q is able to carry on its website from 300,000 to four million.
“Adopting Google Cloud technologies will allow Kingfisher to streamline its existing e-commerce platform while experimenting with advanced testing environments at much lower cost,” the company said in a statement.
“This will provide the freedom, speed and value it needs to respond more effectively to shifting market conditions, and to continue offering first-class customer service across its brands.”
The company also confirmed that it will be pursuing a multicloud strategy, meaning Google will be among several cloud providers it engages with over time.
“At Kingfisher, we have an ambitious technology strategy in place,” said JJ Van Oosten, chief digital and technology officer at Kingfisher. “Google Cloud is an engineering organisation at its heart, while simultaneously understanding the complex retail landscape. As we look to the next phase of growth and the kind of talent we want to attract, this meeting of minds was a real draw for us.
“To reach our goal of creating a world-class engineering centre, we need a technology stack that will support us to experiment and move quickly. Google Cloud is helping to position us as a true digital leader, and our global teams and customers will benefit as a result.”
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, added: “Partnering with global retail leaders like Kingfisher to help create even better in-store and online shopping experiences for customers is a key indicator of the power of the cloud to digitally transform retail.”