Target unveils genAI chatbot for employees

US retail giant Target has announce plans to roll out a generative AI tool for employees at nearly all of its 2,000 shops by August.

Store Companion is a chatbot which has a range of functions including answering employees’ questions, providing training to new employees and supporting store operations management.

The retailer said the new tool will allow employees to work quicker and more efficiently to offer a better service to shoppers and improve their experience.

The chatbot will be available as an app on handheld devices used by store employees and will answer questions about procedures such as signing up customers for loyalty schemes.

Target said the tool was developed in six months, which includes a pilot phase in about 400 stores.

The new chatbot is part of Target’s aim to use generative AI across its business and support the company’s long-term growth. The company added that it plans to roll out another internal tool powered by generative AI in the coming months to help employees at its headquarters with everyday tasks.

"We know technology will continue to play an outsized role in the future of retail — for our team members, our guests and our business. With that in mind, we're continually experimenting with new tools to make it even easier for our team to do their jobs and to bring more of what guests love about shopping at Target to life," said Brett Craig, executive vice president and chief information officer at Target.

"The transformative nature of generative AI is helping us accelerate the rate of innovation across our operations, and we're excited about the role these new tools and applications will play in driving growth," he said.

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