A.S. Watson Group further invests in big data capabilities through partnership with Rubikloud

HONG KONG, 2017-Feb-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — A.S. Watson Group (ASW), the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe, announced today ( February 1, 2017) a partnership with Toronto-based Rubikloud as part of its investment in big data capabilities. The Group will invest USD 70 million (approximately HKD540 million) in the coming three years on big data, to further enhance customer experience and operational efficiencies using machine learning and data visualisation applications.

Rubikloud is a Toronto-based company, with seed round funding led by Horizon Ventures, the investment arm of Mr Li Ka-shing. Over the next three years, ASW will partner with Rubikloud to deploy RubiCore, the company’s data enterprise platform built for easier artificial intelligence applications plug-in, as well as two of its machine learning applications, namely Promotion Manager and Lifecycle Manager, in ASW’s network of 13,300 retail stores across 25 Asian and European markets.

Expanding the Winning Partnership across the Globe
The ASW-Rubikloud partnership began in 2015 at one of ASW’s European operations. In just 10 months, Rubikloud’s machine-learning application Lifecycle Manager successfully generated incremental sales from direct-to-customer CRM campaigns by more than 8%. This initial winning partnership led to the deployment of Rubikloud’s Promotion Manager application for ASW’s UK flagship brand Superdrug, expected to bring about more accurate sales forecasts and more efficient operations, and has since grown into the Group-level partnership being announced today.

Making Smarter Decisions Faster
Rubikloud’s RubiCore will help enhance operational excellence within ASW, by rapidly integrating many legacy databases from across business units and sources, into a single, elastic cloud enabled database. This exercise is expected to shorten the roll-out lead time of current and future machine learning tools by 50-80%. Specifically, newer visualisation platforms and machine learning applications across ASW will all have access to the same data from a single location in the cloud for enhanced real-time decision making. ASW believes such tool is crucial to excel in retail management and operations.

By harmonising all corporate databases into single data architecture, it is expected that the impactful machine-learning-driven solutions provided by Rubikloud will allow tailor-made promotion strategy recommendations. Rubikloud’s total solution will allow ASW’s retail brands to provide the right offers to the right customers, enabling truly customer-centric and optimised marketing promotions.

Malina Ngai, Chief Operating Officer of A.S. Watson Group, sets high expectation over the big data partner appointment, “We are investing in big data amid global economic uncertainties because we believe that technology is a critical enabler for successful retailing in today’s world. With the right technology, we will be able to focus our resources, from the backend support to shop floor, on building better customer experience. Rubikloud has cutting-edge machine learning applications and their new thinking in data science is a true value-add to our well established retail experience.”

According to Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud, the company aims to support ASW to further enhance its capabilities in personalising customer offers through advanced targeting, as well as optimising promotional effectiveness. “We are thrilled to partner with a global retail leader like A.S. Watson Group. At Rubikloud we focus on applying machine learning and flexible big data architectures in practical applications, which means driving tangible business impact.”

About A.S. Watson Group
Established in Hong Kong in 1841, A.S. Watson Group is the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe with 13,300 stores in 25 markets. Each year, over three billion customers and members shop with our 13 retail brands, both in stores and online.

A.S. Watson Group is also a member of the world-renowned multinational conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, which has five core businesses – ports and related services, retail, infrastructure, energy and telecommunications in over 50 countries.

Please visit www.aswatson.com for more in-depth information about A.S. Watson Group and its brands. You may also stay in touch with us via our digital presence (eCommerce, social media, mobile app & more); more details are at http://www.aswatson.com/our-customers/digitalasw/.

About Rubikloud
Rubikloud is a leading machine intelligence platform for enterprise retailers. Rubikloud sits at the intersection of an enterprise software revolution. Embedded machine learning, industry specific decision engines, and elastic cloud compliant architectures will be at the forefront of all future enterprise software systems. Rubikloud’s big-data architecture gathers retailer data from both legacy and new online and offline systems. This data is then used to help retailers make tangible actions that grow their loyalty revenue, promotion forecast accuracy, and merchandising profitability. The Toronto-based company works with leading omnichannel retailers around the world.


Tel: +852 2606 8833
Fax: +852 2690 2836
Email: grouppr@aswatson.com

Source: A.S. Watson Group