Coles’ liquor arm will soon begin using artificial intelligence to forcast demand and automate stock replenishment across its Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars brands.
Coles Liquor has partnered with Finland's RELEX Solutions to bring its cloud-based retail optimisation platform to all 931 stores nationally, as well as the five distribution centres that serve the liquor brands.
The move comes less than a year after Coles began using the platform, known as Living Retail, to transform the way it replenishes fresh produce across its supermarkets and distribution centres.
Coles Liquor is planning to use the platform to drive “improved availability” for its customers through “supply chain planning and AI-driven replenishment”.
The Living Retail platform uses AI algorithms to automate replenishment and improve demand forecasting based on changing variables like seasonality and promotions.
Coles Liquor general manager for transformation and supply chain Genevieve Hawkins said RELEX had a “proven track record” of helping retailers to manage inventory.
“This is an exciting and important investment for Coles Liquor, which will materially improve our ability to have the right stock in the right place for suppliers, shops and customers,” she said.
“It will drive greater operational efficiency across our business and is a key element of our strategic drive to be a truly omnichannel business.”
RELEX CEO Mikko Kärkkäinen said the expansion “marks an important step in our continued Australia expansions”, and would look to “strengthen our presence in Australia even furth this year”.
More than 350 customers use the Living Retail platform across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.