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John Lewis's IT director Paul Coby outlines IT strategy

Former BA CIO will focus on three IT strategies in 2012

John Lewis Department Stores IT director Paul Coby has outlined his IT strategy for the next year in an exclusive interview with CIO UK. He intends to focus on deploying a new web platform, deploying a new POS system and integrating the retailer's distribution centres.

Coby joined John Lewis Department Stores, a division of John Lewis Partnership six months ago from BA, where he was CIO for around ten years. John Lewis has a growing reliance on its online channel, which it intends to lift to £1bn a year in sales globally next year, according to reports.

However, Coby said the online push would only be achieved if the retailer adopted what he called all-channel retailing, which includes in-store assisted sales and home deliveries and necessitated the refreshes in the other too areas.

Coby said the existing POS system was installed in the 1990s and so was due a swap-out. The distribution centre systems are state-of-the-art, but they needed to be more fully integrated to better support new services, such as late night and same-day deliveries. As part of the strategy, John Lewis customers will also be able to pick up items they have purchased online from a number of Waitrose grocery stores.

Coby was unable to say when these three implementations will be completed or which suppliers would be involved.

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