M&S buys intellectual property of AI personalisation marketplace Thread

The retail giant has acquired the intellectual property as it seeks to deepen its revenue opportunities from personalised services.The deal is a pre-pack one with M&S lined up to buy the business before its administration filing. The purchase price hasn’t been revealed.

M&S has taken on key assets such as source codes and the algorithms developed by Thread. The “cutting-edge, proprietary tech” will be integrated into its website, which means Britain’s biggest clothing retailer will now also be able to recommend clothes based on style, size and budget. The company already has an element of personalisation on its site and estimates that this has boosted revenue by £20 million so far.Importantly too, it’s not just an IP deal with the new owner also taking on 30 of Thread’s former data scientists, software engineers and creative teams to lead the integration. Kieran O’Neill and Ben Phillips, who founded the business 10 years ago, are also part of the purchase.M&S co-CEO Katie Bickerstaffe said that between 20% and 25% of its digital customer interactions are personalised at the moment and within 18 months it wants that figure to be 50%. She also said such services could eventually be worth up to £100 million annually for the business.“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 in under 12 months,” she explained. It could take around three years for the retailer to build the technology from scratch.Kieran O’Neill, who joins M&S in December as Senior Head of Product, added: “We have worked for the past 10 years on building the most advanced AI personalisation for online fashion, proven to increase customer conversion and repeat orders. We’re so excited to join forces with M&S; through their infrastructure and support, we’re able to take our market leading technology to the next level, providing a personalised and unique shopping experience for their 30 million customers.”

M&S buys intellectual property of AI personalisation marketplace Thread

Related Posts

AAFA- Under Armour’s Colin Brown hands over chair to PVH’s Sarah Clarke

Clarke will work with vice-chair Ted Dagnese, head of sourcing at the Lululemon Athletica group. Katherine Gold, president of the Goldburg group, has been appointed treasurer, while…

As buyers demand it, Bangladesh garment factories go green

But when she came back to the garment factory region west of Dhaka with her new husband a few years later, she found conditions at some factories…

Gillette makes all its razors recyclable in Canada

The Procter & Gamble-owned personal care brand has joined forces with the waste management company TerraCycle on an initiative that will see all of its brands of…

Coronavirus likely hammered U.S. retail sales again in April

The report from the Commerce Department on Friday would add to a historic 20.5 million job losses last month in underscoring the deepening economic slump that analysts…

Asos says Barnsley hub safe after union urges closure for coronavirus deep clean

In a letter sent to Asos founder Nick Robertson, trade union GMB said safety measures on site were “insufficient”. According to the union, a recent poll of almost…

Hanneli Rupert defends use of exotic skins in South Africa

The 34-year-old South African entrepreneur runs Merchants on Long, a fashion concept store she founded in Cape Town a decade ago that specializes in African designers’ clothes…