Marks & Spencer has acquired the intellectual property, including the source code and algorithms, of personalized fashion marketplace, Thread, the company announced on Wednesday.
The acquisition is part of the company’s effort to improve its own personalization capabilities and deliver an improved omnichannel experience to its customers.
More specifically, Thread’s technology will enable the retailer to deliver personalized shopping for all clothing products across its website and its third-party brand partners that complement and enhance its core offering.
While Marks & Spencer did not reveal the deal’s financial details, it expects its personalization efforts to generate more than $120 million in annualized incremental revenue for its business.
“The acquisition of Thread is the perfect example of a ‘buy not build’ approach – enabling us to accelerate our personalization strategy by integrating the market-leading tech on M&S.com in under 12 months,” said Katie Bickerstaffe, co-chief executive at Marks & Spencer. “We’re taking personalization to the next level to inspire our customers with tailored outfit inspiration.”
“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, whilst further unlocking the potential of our third-party brand strategy, by adding outfit-completing product ideas,” she added.
Under the terms of the deal, Marks & Spencer will hire 30 of Thread’s data sciences, software engineers, and styling and creative teams who will lead the integration and form a new personalized discovery team within its data and digital function. This includes Kieran O’Neil and Ben Phillips, who founded Thread in 2012.