M&S invests in 3D digital fit technology

Marks and Spencer has invested in 3D digital fit company Texel, which has developed technology that captures customers’ measurements to improve fit and reduce the risk of returns for online orders.

The investment in Texel has been made as part of the M&S’ joint venture with Founders Factory, which enables startups to grow at pace using the company’s experts in design, computer engineering, data science and strategy.

Texel’s technology scans capture and measure people in 3D, creating a digital avatar of the user. It then recommends clothes that will best fit the user’s shape and size in bid to optimise both online and in-store shopping.

Announcing the investment, M&S said it would deploy Texel’s technology to complement existing tool Optitex, which is used by its in-house design and technology team to create patterns that are then rendered in 3D to visualise what a garment will look like on a mannequin without a piece of cloth being cut or sewn.

Paschal Little, head of clothing and home technology at M&S, said: “Retail is changing and changing faster than ever before. Investing in businesses like Texel puts us at the sharp end of that change and gives us the tools to test and trial new ways to inspire our customers.”

Texel is the third startup M&S has selected for its retail programme, along with ChargedUp, a mobile phone battery sharing service, and Rocketo, a healthy subscription dog food service.

M&S said these investments were in addition to its strategic partnership with Microsoft, which is testing the capabilities of technology and artificial intelligence in a retail environment.

Texel co-founder Sergey Klimentyev added: “Texel is building products designed to simplify, personalise and enrich the offline and online shopping experience and helps to reduce online returns and increase conversion.”

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