David Jones has appointed IBM as its multi-channel retail (MCR) systems platform.

As part of this new partnership, IBM will develop an develop an end-to-end multi-channel e-commerce platform for the department store retailer across its physical stores, its online stores and mobile devices.

IBM will integrate social media, promotions and rich analytics features to give the customer the ability to view items online, post items to wish lists, and share their purchases with friends and family. It also will integrate the solution into David Jones’ core corporate systems to provide order and inventory management and fulfilment capabilities that support both the online and store channels.

Customers will have the ability to browse and buy, but also pick-up and return items through the channel of their choice, including their mobile phones, online or at a physical store.

CEO Paul Zahra said the future of the company lies in its ability to offer a fully integrated multi-channel retail experience to customers to allow them to shop using whichever channel they choose be that in-store, on their PCs, tablets, smartphones or a combination of two or more.

“For David Jones, retail is about more than just a transaction – it’s about how the customer interacts and communicates with us at all points of the shopping process,” he said.

“We are no longer just a bricks and mortar store – with the continued evolution of e-commerce and social media, shopping has become even more personal than ever before. By leveraging IBM’s expertise in rapid deployment of customer-centric online solutions, we intend to help shoppers meet their individual purchasing needs and emerge completely satisfied with their retail experience.”

The first phase of the solution will be rolled out in the second half of calendar 2012 as part of a stepped approach, with the following phase going live in 2013.