This blog post is a translated adaptation of LeMagIt’s article, “Comment LVMH déploie l’IA à l’échelle.”
In the fast-evolving landscape of luxury retail, staying ahead means not just embracing innovation but also orchestrating it across diverse brands and sectors. LVMH, the iconic French luxury group, has emerged as a trailblazer by strategically deploying artificial intelligence (AI) on an unprecedented scale. With a revenue of €79.2 billion in 2022 and a portfolio that includes renowned houses like Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Givenchy, LVMH's approach to AI is both comprehensive and nuanced.
LVMH's success lies in recognizing and embracing the diversity within its extensive portfolio. Each house, with its unique identity and operations, requires a tailored approach to data and AI.
Aurélien Gascon, Head of Enterprise Architecture & Data Technology, emphasizes the importance of establishing fundamentals. According to him, The goal is to "reuse and ultimately replicate from one house to another, from one context to another." With the help of Dataiku, the group has laid the groundwork with a data platform, a framework that accelerates the deployment of use cases from business intelligence (BI) to AI.
The cloud plays a pivotal role in LVMH's data strategy. Google's fully managed, serverless data warehouse BigQuery serves as the backbone for the group's data platform, allowing seamless deployment across more than 24 houses and divisions. Notably, in China, LVMH leverages Alibaba MaxCompute, showcasing adaptability to regional nuances.
However, data consolidation is not enough without effective governance. During the Everyday AI conference in Paris, hosted by Dataiku, Gascon underscored the significance of governing data, highlighting that it's not just about having abundant data but governing it strategically for accelerating data-related transformations.
It's good to have a lot of data, but if it is not governed, if there aren’t clear definitions for each set of retrieved data, it's not very useful.
— Aurélien Gascon, Head of Enterprise Architecture & Data Technology @ LVMH
Recognizing that knowledge is a key enabler, LVMH has established educational programs accessible to executives, professionals, and data teams. With schools in France, the United States, and China, the group offers a diverse catalog of nearly 20 training sessions, ranging from data science basics to advanced data science tasks . This educational initiative strengthens the foundations for data-driven decision-making across the organization.
AI With a Purpose
LVMH's journey into AI is not just about deploying any AI model but about doing so with purpose. Axel de Goursac, Head of Data Science, emphasizes the need for AI that preserves the luxury DNA and brand image. LVMH has thus partnered with Stanford University's Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) center to ensure Responsible AI, human-centered design, and interaction that enhances customer experience and employee expertise.
MLOps for Efficiency
LVMH adopts a mature approach to MLOps, ensuring that AI models are not just one-time tools but long-term assets to be enriched over several years. Dataiku serves as the backbone for deploying and managing these models efficiently. The platform facilitates not only the centralization of algorithms but also their customization for individual houses, ensuring a delicate balance between central governance and house autonomy.
Accelerating Results With Low-Code
The deployment of AI models is expedited through low-code integration. Packaged models are seamlessly integrated into Dataiku using plugins, translating complex pipelines into user-friendly, accessible components. This democratization of AI usage allows even non-data scientists to interact with and understand the models, fostering a culture of innovation across the organization.
LVMH's approach to AI is a testament to its commitment to innovation, diversity, and responsible use of technology. By embracing AI at scale while respecting the unique characteristics of each brand, LVMH is not just navigating the winds of change but steering the ship of luxury retail into uncharted, tech-infused waters. As other industries look to the future, they can undoubtedly draw inspiration from LVMH's data-driven revolution.