Sainsbury’s has announced a five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft, which will see the tech giant’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities drive the grocer’s strategy.

Sainsburys x Microsoft announcement

Sainsbury’s said its Microsoft partnership will put “the power of AI” in the hands of staff

Sainsbury’s said the partnership will put “the power of AI” in the hands of staff and drive greater efficiency for both employees and customers.

The grocer will use the tech services to drive growth across the customer experience, empowering colleagues and using data to power a business built on “smart cloud foundations”.

The partnership is also expected to improve store operations and contribute to delivering stronger returns for Sainsbury’s shareholders as a result.

Through the use of Microsoft’s products, Sainsbury’s said it will make shopping “more engaging and convenient” for millions of UK shoppers, both in store and online.

Sainsbury’s staff will be enrolled on upskilling programmes to help them “learn and grow in the new AI-driven economy”.

Sainsbury’s chief retail and technology officer Clodagh Moriarty said: “Our collaboration with Microsoft will accelerate our ambition to become the UK’s leading AI-enabled grocer.

“It’s one of the key ways we’re investing in transforming our capabilities over the next three years, enabling us to take another big leap forward in efficiency and productivity, continue to provide leading customer service and deliver returns for our shareholders.”

Microsoft UK chief executive Clare Barclay said: “Today, Sainsbury’s has laid out a bold vision that puts AI at the heart of its business, accelerating the development of new services, which will enhance and transform the customer and colleague experience.

“We are delighted to be working with Sainsbury’s to power the next generation of retail.”