The international luxury group that owns brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga — Kering — announced today that it’s working with Apple to create apps for sales associates to track inventory and more.
In a statement published Monday, Kering said that it is “working on a suite of apps in partnership with Apple to be used by Houses staff in-store, the first of which is a store experience app that enables sales associates in-store to access stock levels in real time to provide their customers with a fully personalized service.”
The company added, “[it’s] exploring advanced technologies with Apple to further enhance client experience on iOS devices, including improving the payment experience in-store.”
Kering’s inventory-tracking app is currently in use by about two-thirds of the stores operated by the company’s three biggest brands. Kering estimates about 6,500 employees use the app on a daily basis.
The new luxury goods app sounds very similar to the one Apple is using in its retail locations, EasyPay. So, it’s easy to imagine the Kering app being paired with one of the many iOS peripherals available to retailers in the future.
This partnership with Apple fits into the broader digital strategy at Kering. In 2017, Grégory Boutté became Chief Client and Digital Officer and proclaimed he was shifting the company’s focus to digital and e-commerce. A core goal is to improve the customer experience and to put it at the center across the many brands.
A broader shift to online sales is resulting in new teams forming internally. Kering will end a relationship with YNAP (YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group) in 2020 as well since e-commerce operations are moving inside. Currently, YNAP helps with digital operations including e-commerce. By moving a majority of its digital operations inside, Kering will have more control over the direction of them. It should also help to increase the role of e-commerce across the many brands.
While this is a new partnership for Apple, the Cupertino behemoth also works with IBM to develop apps. That initiative has resulted in hundreds of new apps under the business and enterprise umbrella, but also could have resulted in some retail developments.