What started as a personal shopping service in 2010, with employees interacting directly with customers through messaging services like Whatsapp and WeChat, has grown into a broader social and chat commerce platform, with revenue doubling since the pandemic began. The UK-based company has been active in Asia since 2019 and launched in the US in 2020. According to the brand, Threads’ main strength is social media content, which drives more than 50% of sales. It has more than 400 luxury brand partners.
Hill declined to disclose revenue figures, but pointed to the strength of Threads’ high-value business, with more than 35% of sales coming from order values in excess of £10,000. The average order value for Threads is around £2,500. The company is aiming for a 50% growth rate by 2023, she said, but is not yet profitable. “We remain a growth company. This step-change in new investment and partnership opportunities will allow us to accelerate growth as we emerge from the pandemic.”
To improve profitability, a localized personal experience will be critical, Hill said. She said new hires and more technology investments are expected in the near term “to provide customers with a personalized, high-touch experience that can be rolled out quickly.”
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Threads Styling is a different acquisition for Chalhoub Group, which has invested in French-owned goldsmiths and tableware company Christofle and French clean beauty brand La Bouche Rouge, as well as partnered with UK multi-brand platform Farfetch and Singaporean department store Robinsons. “First and foremost, our growth has come from partnerships through joint ventures for regional distribution, expansion and development,” Murat said. Seeking to “beyond organic growth”, the group has been focusing on digital sales while remaining loyal to its luxury customers.
To grow in the Middle East, which already accounts for 30% of sales, Chalhoub will help Threads access local inventory and provide unique expertise in local operations. “They really know the area and that will help us provide a better customer experience,” Hill said. The U.S. is also an important growth market for Threads Styling, with sales in the region tripling from 2021, she said.
In August 2021, Threads Styling launched Threads Connect, a B2B service that gives independent personal shoppers access to its technology and digital tools, such as customer sales tracking systems, order status and invoicing. Shoppers also have access to Threads’ sourcing network and brand relationships. In return, Threads takes a cut of the commission. In February 2022, Threads expanded its business model to e-commerce and tested the waters with live shopping.
“Technology underpins everything we do, and it’s an area where we continue to build [on] to help expand the business,” Hill said. “This remains a key focus of how we continue to integrate content with commerce. “
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