Retail Week’s new report recognises retailers successfully embedding adaptive AI and features exclusive interviews with industry leaders on their AI strategies

AI has moved into the mainstream and, while advancements in generative AI abound, it is adaptive AI – with its ability to continually learn from new data – that is giving retailers the edge. 

AI Adopters, the new report from Retail Week produced in association with, names 10 UK retailers that are making adaptive AI add up for them and reveals what makes the select group the country’s best machine-powered retailers.

Boots, The Very Group and THG are among the AI adopters celebrated in the report, which features unmissable interviews with senior leaders from each business to gain new insight into their AI investment strategies.  

Industry experts, including a lecturer, an economist and an investor, were also interviewed to give a unique window into how retailers are winning with adaptive AI – and how others can use the tech to their own advantage. 

There are fresh takes on what to expect from the future of AI adoption, too. These include the increased use of AI to democratise data, mixing different forms of AI for optimal results and how to use AI in conjunction with, as opposed to alienating, colleagues. 

Interview with THG on its AI adoption  


THG uses AI to smooth its business processes

THG has been using AI since 2016, embedded in a whole range of processes. Natural language processing is enhancing search so that customers can interact with the product more conversationally – for example, a user typing the word ‘sunburn’ would be recommended sun creams.

The brand also uses adaptive AI to gather and process data about its customers, creating richer profiles. These might include information on journeys, add-to-basket activity and purchases, as well as predicting a customer’s ‘lifetime value’ based on their behaviour.

THG uses AI to smooth its business processes. THG chief information officer Jo Drake says these range from using machine translation to translate copy about products into other languages using the brand’s house style to fraud detection, anomaly detection and profanity detection in comments, which it has working in more than 78 languages. One of the most interesting use cases for adaptive AI is in THG’s influencer revenue forecasting.

“Influencer marketing has become an increasingly important strategy for brands and businesses in recent years,” Drake says. “However, selecting the right influencer to work with can be a very time-consuming [and] subjective process.”

By using AI to predict the revenue an influencer can be expected to generate, campaign managers are able to make informed decisions, leading to better return on investment. Drake also adds that while AI is leading to huge enrichment for the group, it needs human refinement to ground it in quality, authenticity and brand ‘voice’.

“By customising these models to suit brand needs, we can deliver experiences that not only meet but exceed customer expectations,” she says.


Find out more about what THG had to say and meet the 10 AI Adopters by accessing your free copy of the report today: 

  • Take a deep dive into the strategic profiles of 10 of the country’s best machine-powered retailers
  • Access first-hand commentary from retailers that are winning with adaptive AI
  • Understand the nuances between adaptive, traditional and generative AI – and how all three can be used as a recipe for success
  • Get the insider opinion from experts and economists on the future of AI