Sergio Bucher a member of the executive board at German-based retailer Otto Group, set out the “delicate balance” between technology and creativity and how his company is leveraging technology and AI.

Bucher outlined Otto Group’s strategic use of AI into fashion design through the use of 3D tools which has led to a reduction in product development times, from 12 weeks to just 2 weeks, while minimising the reliance on physical samples.

Bucher explained that this approach not only enhances efficiency but also aligns with the company’s sustainability goals by improving transparency and providing customers with insights into the environmental impacts and sourcing of their products.

Joined by Janet Hayes, CEO of Crate and Barrel, the executive echoed Bucher’s sentiments and highlighted the transformative impact of technology on customer engagement and personalised experiences.

She spotlighted the success of Crate and Barrel’s Design Desk Services, a tailored interior design offering fuelled by technology and human expertise.

Hayes described the personalised service as revolutionising the customer experience and driving sales, with 40% of in-store revenues attributed to these appointments and orders typically three times larger than for those who have not used the bespoke service.

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Hayes emphasised the synergy between technology and human assistance in driving retail innovation, stating that it has enabled them to “change the game in our retail stores.”

In 2023, Otto Group became an early signatory to the International Safety Accord for Pakistan.