M&S to 'generate £100m' after takeover of personalised fashion marketplace

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has acquired personalised fashion marketplace Thread.

Following the buyout, M&S anticipates that personalisation will generate more than £100 million of annualised incremental revenue for the business.

The multinational retailer, which has also bought rights to source code and algorithms developed by the marketplace, is planning to integrate the company’s technology into the M&S.com platform to “speed up personalisation”.

The new personalisation tool will be used across all clothing products available online, including its third-party brand partners.

Over the past three years, M&S has invested heavily in developing its digital and data capabilities as part of its omnichannel strategy.

The company said it has profited from customer data and personalised products over the past 12-months, with around 20 to 25 per cent of all digital interactions anticipated to be personalised this year.

M&S says that outfit recommendations have been particularly successful, with 'frequently bought together' recommendations worth around £20 million of revenue this year.

The move is part of its 'buy not build' approach, which it says will mean its personalisation strategy will move more quickly.

“The acquisition of Thread is the perfect example of a ‘buy not build’ approach – enabling us to accelerate our personalisation strategy by integrating the market leading tech on M&S.com in under 12 months,” said Katie Bickerstaffe, co-chief executive, Marks & Spencer. “We’re taking personalisation to the next level to inspire our customers with tailored outfit inspiration.”

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