M&S Acquires Thread as They Look to Improve Their Online Clothing Offering

M&S Acquires Thread as They Look to Improve Their Online Clothing Offering

December 1, 2022
Dom Challis

Coming as a shock to us all, Mars & Spencer have snapped up retailer and fashion personalisation website Thread, which has collapsed into administration.

The deal also means that Thread’s algorithms and source codes they’ve developed over the years will now be integrated into the M&S website.

This move will allow M&S to recommend a wider selection of clothing based on style, sizes and budget as they look to improve their fashion offering which has been in decline for years.

M&S will also be hiring 30 members of Thread’s former data scientists, software engineers, styling & creative colleagues plus founders Kieran O’Neil and Ben Phillips are also to be hired.

Thread have always had a unique way of understanding their customers fashion and budget preferences. M&S are hoping this will help improve their already existing personalisation techniques which has helped boost sales by £20 million by suggesting items that are often bought together to customers.

Thread wrote on their Instagram: “One of our biggest partners along the way has been M&S, who share our vision for democratising style. To help bring this to their much larger audience, they have acquired Thread’s brand, technology, and data. 

M&S co-chief executive Katie Bickerstaffe, predicts personalisation to help boost sales by £100 million a year.

Katie went on to explain: “In the next 12 to 18 months we are targeting 50% of digital customer interactions to be personalised (compared to 20-25% this year). The integration of Thread technology will enable us to take personalisation to the next level.

“We have been working hard to deliver better, more stylish ranges and this algorithm will also put more of our great product in front of the customer.”

While their clothing department has been gradually declining over the years, M&S’s half-year results show that clothing and home was their “standout performer,” with like-for-like sales increasing by 13.7%.

It’s also been revealed that M&S are planning to add clothing from labels such as Ted Baker, Superdry, Lyle & Scott and more to M&S.com.

While we hate to see one of our favourite retailers like Thread coming to an end, it’ll be interesting to see how exactly this will improve M&S’s clothing offerings – which, lets admit it, has rarely been anything special.

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