Retail news round-up on January 29, 2016: Reiss seeks minority investor to help fuel international growth and John Lewis picks Cortexica's image recognition software.
Permira could be Reiss' minority investor
Reiss is keen to offload a minority stake in the fashion brand.
The high street retailer’s founder and controlling shareholder, David Reiss, is understood to be holding talks with several prospective investors, including Dr Martens’ private equity owner Permira, according to Sky News.
The deal could net the company as much as £325m, sources said.
It is believed that the firm wants a minority investor to help fuel its continued international growth.
John Lewis selects Cortexica’s image recognition technology
John Lewis has become the first UK high street retailer to use Cortexica’s image recognition software dubbed “the Shazam for clothes”.
Developed at Imperial College London, Cortexica’s findSimilar software will be tested by the chain’s iPad app and will allow shoppers to search for clothes they like and find other items stocked by John Lewis of a similar shape, colour and pattern.
Cortexica chief executive Iain McCready said: “We are delighted that John Lewis has selected Cortexica’s findSimilar technology to power the first ever example of visual search functionality provided by a UK high street retailer.”
Amazon passes $100bn in annual sales
Amazon had its third consecutive profitable quarter for the first time since 2012, but missed analysts' estimates.
The online retailer reported fourth quarter revenues at $35.7bn (£24.9bn), 21.8% ahead of the same period in 2014.
The company’s shares dived 13% in after-hours trading as quarterly results missed Wall Street expectations.
Annual sales surpassed $100bn for the first time, rising 20% to hit $107bn (£745m). Profit for the year of $596m (£415m) was up from a loss of $241m (£168m) in 2014.