Marks & Spencer has partnered with retail and consumer investment firm True to access new innovations and technology from start-ups that it can implement into its business operations, as part of its plans to become a “digital-first retailer”.
The agreement will give M&S access to True’s Live Network, which comprises more than 2,000 technology and consumer-product start-ups each year.
M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said the deal will give the retailer “unparalleled access to the latest innovations and technologies that have the potential to transform the way we operate and run our business”.
True was founded by Matt Truman and Paul Cocker in 2013 after they sold their stake in start-up kidswear etailer alexandalexa.com to US investment firm Tiger. It works with retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, John Lewis and Morrisons on its Live Network.
True bought a majority stake in organic kidswear brand Frugi last month to support its “ongoing scalable growth”.
Last week M&S announced it was creating a data academy with London-based education business Decoded to train staff in every area of the business in data skills, as part of its ongoing transformation programme.
On the latest partnership with True, Rowe said: “As M&S seeks to become a digital-first retailer, we will be on the front foot thanks to True’s deep sector knowledge and the exposure they will give us to new enterprise-ready technologies which will benefit our customers and make us fit for the future.”