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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Maryam Kara

Boots expected to launch 'AI personal shopper' to boost online sales

Boots is expected to launch a personal shopper powered by Artificial Intelligence, according to the Retail Gazette.

Pioneering the Artificial Intelligence chatbot would mean recommendations could be made for lipsticks and beauty gifts. Testing is thought to be at an early stage but Boots' digital team is expected to ramp up work after Christmas.

Boots has a long-established relationship with Microsoft and ChatGPT, according to the retail news company.

It follows recent news of Boots shutting 300 of its stores across the next year. It was said in the summer (when it was also revealed that ranges were flying off the shelves) that the move would see store estate reduced from 2,200 to 1,900 and that there would be no proposed redundancies despite the sharp fall.

A Boots spokeswoman said: “Evolving the store estate in this way allows Boots to concentrate its team members where they are needed and focus investment more acutely in individual stores with the ambition of consistently delivering an excellent and reliable service in a fresh and up-to-date environment.”

If this new move were implemented it would make the chatbot one of the first mainstream consumer applications of the software monopolising the technology world across the past year.

When it comes to its online stores, the retailer has already signalled its intentions to embrace AI technology. Earlier in the year, Boots signed a deal with Ocula Technologies, which offers an AI-based tool aimed at avoiding abandoned shopping carts online, though it is not clear if this is related to the AI personal shopper plans.

Boots has been approached for comment.

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