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Which UK retailers are using Threads – and how is that going for them?

Just five days after Facebook parent company Meta launched its ‘Twitter killer’ Threads, more than 100 million users had signed up – including many of the world’s largest retailers and brands.

In the UK, all the main supermarkets were quick to get on board, as were several other leading retailers – even M&S’s Percy Pig and Colin the Caterpillar opened their own Threads accounts.

Most major UK retailers created accounts and, while many joined in a fit of Fomo, quite a few continue to use it. So, two months in, how is it going? 

Some facts about Threads and retail

First, there isn’t much official analysis out there, so before we get to our non-scientific assessment of the UK, what can we glean about how retail is using Threads so far?

According to research by Website Planet, which compared the Twitter and Threads performance of 30 brands in the US revealed, on average, news pages on Threads seem to have approximately 1% of the number of followers they have on Twitter.

It also added that Threads showed a higher average number of replies than Twitter. Netflix, for instance, saw 256 times more replies on Threads, as well as Threads having a higher engagement rate compared to Twitter, 1.32% vs. 0.01%, respectively.

How are UK retailers using Threads?

Overall, brands appear to be using Threads with a greater degree of marketing engagement in mind, rather than X (formerly Twitter) which is increasingly seen as more of a customer service channel.

The tie-up between Threads and Instagram lends itself to more rich content being posted, however many of the mid-tier brands that have signed up to Threads are posting identical material on both X and Threads at the same time. 

As the data from Website Planet in the US reveals, however, the posts on Threads are getting more engagement, albeit from a smaller audience.

So how are UK retailers and brands using it today? Here is a snapshot of five players and their varying approaches to how they use Threads and X/Twitter: 


Threads: 96,200 followers

X/Twitter: 682,100 followers

Aldi’s approach to Threads is very much in the same slightly anarchic vein as that of X/Twitter. It posts many times a day and with wit and verve.

There are different posts on each, however, with X/Twitter erring more towards information about products. Having more users on X/Twitter, many more Aldi messages are showing up, asking everything from returns policy to when Aldi mince pies go on sale.

Over on Threads, Aldi is much more about commenting on things in the news – suggesting that its cashiers would have more quickly sorted the UK’s August Bank Holiday Air Traffic Control fail, for instance – and seeing fewer messages from customers asking questions. 


Threads: 31,400 followers for M&S Foods; 36,300 for M&S Style; 12,000 for Percy Pig; 7206 for Colin the Caterpillar

X/Twitter: 643,400 followers for M&S

The obvious difference here is that M&S has a single main presence on X/Twitter, compared to multiple ones on Threads – M&S Foods, M&S Style, Percy Pigs and Colin the Caterpillar being four of them.

M&S Styles Threads output is almost entirely made up of short messages pushing M&S fashion items – “this month we are all about parachute pants”, for example – while over on Food, posts centre around last month’s Women’s World Cup Final and the Lionesses. 

X/Twitter meanwhile is devoted almost entirely to the Eat Well Blindfold Challenge, a competition to see who can identify what healthy grub they are eating. The content on X/Twitter leans more toward video snippets, while Threads, despite its close link to Instagram, is largely text and image-based.

The Official Percy Pig and Official Colin the Caterpillar Threads are very much geared towards younger users, featuring more memes and jokes about jelly sweets. The interaction appears low with these two currently.

New Look

Threads: 119,000 followers

X/Twitter: 385,000 followers

New Look’s X/Twitter feed is dominated by plugs for its wares, especially as here in late August, the retailer is plugging Autumn’s ranges. The replies and messages, however, are like many retailers dominated by customer complaints and queries – many about returns and poor service.

Over on Threads, New Look is very much about memes and topically witty content. Here it leads with images but on the whole steers away from pushing its clothes in all of them, often opting for amusing images and gifs to illustrate a point.

In the replies on Threads, the page opens with the disclaimer from New Look’s Threads handlers “plz don’t ask us about your order we don’t know how this works” [sic] and the replies feed is filled with customer messages aping the memes in the main New Look Threads channel. There are no messages about returns, probably because they are on X/Twitter.


Threads: 4.9 million followers

X/Twitter: 9.8 million followers

Nike uses Threads and X/Twitter in the same way, albeit with different content on each. The brand is very much about bigging up athletes and sports personalities that are endorsed by the company on each channel – usually in quite long posts with a hero shot of the athlete in question in action.

As might be expected the content on both is of the highest quality, with eminently shareable videos explaining everything from the technology behind its clothing to doing fun stuff in a tracksuit. 

There is a reasonably high proportion of user-endorsed content, such as snaps of people wearing the latest Nike x Billie Eilish Air Force. 

The content on Threads, however, is much older than that on X/Twitter. Where X/Twitter is getting updated all the time, a short stroll through Threads finds you looking at content that was loaded up three weeks ago. Despite having 4.9 million followers it seems a bit more an experiment for the brand currently. That said, it is something of an experience for all brands and retailers right now. 

Ikea UK

Threads: 79,200 followers

X/Twitter: 74,800 followers

Ikea stands out in this thumb-in-the-air analysis of Threads and Twitter for retailers for two reasons: first, it has more followers on Threads than it does on X/Twitter and second, it posts surprisingly infrequently on both.

In fact, despite having more followers in Threads at the time of writing, it has posted once on the day Threads launched and hasn’t added anything since. That was a post listing all the keyword names of its top-selling products such as its meatballs and Billy bookcase. 

Likewise, replies in Threads similarly date from the same day of the post and outline some things that were missed from this list. Interestingly, not posting has seen no one try and engage. 

Over on X/Twitter, the story is not so stark, however, there have been no posts since June. Replies have streamed in, typically asking about how to order online, how to make returns and congratulating individual staff members on helping them. X/Twitter it appears is a channel for customers to praise Ikea and ask basic questions.

The retailer hasn’t managed to replicate this on Threads, where its presence seems more of a box tick or holding pattern exercise.

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