Cimpress invests in custom clothing company

Cimpress has acquired a majority stake in San Francisco-based apparel company Vida & Co in order to “push the boundaries” of what it can achieve in its target markets.

The Dutch customisation giant spent $29m (£22.4m) on the transaction, confirmed on 9 August, and will add all 13 members of the Vida team, including founder Umaimah Mendhro, to its international network of more than 13,000 employees.

Vida works with more than 100,000 different designers across 150 countries to produce apparel, accessories and home decor products on a made-to-order basis. It has worked on high-profile projects with collaborators including Cher and the Golden Globes.

Cimpress chief executive Robert Keane said: “Vida has a worldwide network, including the UK and European markets, and has partnered with iconic brands and personalities. Each of Vida’s products is produced on-demand and has a unique story, from the inspiration behind its design to the personal, poignant stories of the artists and the makers.

“The company pushes the boundaries of where Cimpress has historically operated and thus opens the door for Cimpress to expand its mass-customisation efforts into new and different markets. It will remain autonomous and focused on its continued growth and expansion.

“When considering M&A, Cimpress only wants to invest in businesses where mass customisation enables the delivery of superior customer value versus traditional business models, and where we believe that the select few shared strategic capabilities, which Cimpress manages centrally, can enable those businesses to drive incremental customer and long-term shareholder value.”

Vida makes use of a global supply chain of manufacturers specialising in mass-customised items, from custom-printed cashmere scarves to 3D printed jewellery. It will continue to operate from its US base.

According to Keane, no immediate changes will be made to Vida’s staff, though new additions to its 13-strong team would be “commensurate with growth”. He also described the acquisition as part of a long-term strategy to invest in related businesses.

Cimpress, which wrote off most of its £20m investment in Dundee-based Tradeprint in April, reported a turnover of $2.6bn (£2.01bn) at the end of its last financial year.