Marks & Spencer has invested in Texel, a specialist clothes-fitting technology company. The aim is to enhance Marks & Spencer’s digital capabilities and bolster its appeal to fashion shoppers. Texel enables consumers to create digital avatars using 3D scanning technology to find the clothing most appropriate to their shape and size. The technology, which can be deployed through a single sensor in-store or by using a smart phone app, is designed to be convenient for the customer and cost-effective for the retailer, and could help boost apparel sales and reduce returns. Building fashion sales and cutting returns, which are frequently a problem across clothing retail, could give M&S an advantage in a tough clothing retail environment.
Over the next several months, M&S will work with Texel to develop, test and pilot the digital fit technology. Investing in businesses like Texel puts Marks & Spencer at the sharp end of change and gives it the tools to test and trial new ways to inspire customers. Texel will complement the retailer’s use of Optitex technology, which allows it to create clothing patterns in 3D to visualise what they would look like on an avatar or mannequin.
M&S has also backed on-the-go phone charging service ChargedUp and dehydrated organic dog food business Rocketo. The latter could potentially allow M&S to create a specialist subscription service.