H&M has enlisted the help of Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie – the man who lifted the lid on the Facebook data scandal – to boost its use of artificial intelligence and data analytics.
The fashion retailer has hired Wylie as a consultant to help it gain better insights on customers, products and markets, while ensuring its use of AI remains “sustainable and ethical”.
The move comes as it reported its sixth consecutive quarter of falling profits, dropping just over 10% in the fourth quarter to £371.4m, well below analysts’ expectations of £430.5m. Despite its profit drop, H&M saw revenues grow 12% to £4.7bn.
It blamed the drop in profits on costs related to replacing its logistics system, as it aims to ramp up its online and delivery offering to compete with its larger rival Zara.
H&M chief executive Karl-Johan Persson said: “It has been a challenging year for H&M group and the industry but after a difficult first half, there are signs the company’s transformation efforts are beginning to take effect.
“Improved collections generated better full-price sales and lower markdowns towards the end of the year. This gave us confidence to accelerate our transformation plans in the fourth quarter with a particular focus on the upgrade of our logistics systems. Inevitably resulting in increased costs but will lead to a range of improvements for customers.”
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