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Kingfisher Opens Technology Hub In Romania

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The Times reports that Kingfisher has opened a technology hub in Cluj-Napoca, the second largest city in Romania and an area dubbed the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe. 

Kingfisher is focused on enhancing its data science and software engineering capabilities, and already has a hub in Krakow, Poland, which has been in operation since late 2022. 

The company stated that the eastern European sites will enable the business to grow its "in-house engineering talent, alongside our teams in the UK and other markets," adding that increased in-house capability meant it was "less reliant on outsourced providers and can be more agile and innovative to create the best possible experiences for our customers." 

IT companies including Amazon, Google and Microsoft already operate within Romania, while Poland has also noted significant growth in the sector, earning it the nickname 'Silicon Forest'. 

In November 2023, Kingfisher announced the launch of the first AI-powered assistant in the home improvement sector, harnessing the capability of generative AI to support customers with their DIY projects. Launching initially at Castorama France, the virtual assistant answers customers’ DIY queries and provides step-by-step advice on a range of home improvement projects, as well as tailored product recommendations.

Kingfisher CEO Thierry Garnier said of the plans: “Technology has long been important in retail, but today it’s right at the top of the leadership agenda. I don’t think I ever go a day at Kingfisher without discussing technology in some form. It doesn’t just underpin growth in ecommerce, but every aspect of retail, from logistics and pricing to AI solutions and retail media. That’s why we want Kingfisher to be a magnet for top talent in technology and data science.”

Source : Originally reported by The Times on Monday 19th February

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19 February 2024

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