Former Amazon Fashion executive Tony Bacos on Monday joined Stitch Fix as chief product and technology officer.
Bacos is leading the technology, product, data science, security and IT teams, per a company press release. He reports to CEO Matt Baer, who was Macy’s digital chief before arriving at Stitch Fix in June.
Bacos spent over seven years at Amazon Fashion, with over three years as chief technology officer, per his LinkedIn page. More recently he was chief digital officer at home service plans provider Frontdoor.
Stitch Fix has turned to Amazon veterans in the past.
Two years ago, Sharon Chiarella, formerly vice president of community shopping at Amazon, joined as Stitch Fix’s chief product officer, though she left within the year. Before Chiarella’s arrival, Amazon Digital Video Chief Financial Officer Dan Jedda joined Stitch Fix as CFO; he left earlier this year following former CEO Elizabeth Spaulding’s abrupt exit in January.
According to Stitch Fix, Bacos led a successful turnaround of Amazon Fashion’s business. As well as traditional online and marketplace sales, Amazon’s enterprise includes a Stitch Fix-like “Try Before You Buy” option that allows Prime customers to order items without paying up front. The e-commerce giant recently decided to close its only two brick-and-mortar Amazon Style stores and focus on its online fashion sales.
In a statement, Baer hailed Bacos’ “expertise in ecommerce, proven track record building products that solve customer needs, passion for fashion retail, and strong leadership skills.”
“Stitch Fix was founded on the vision that there was an easier and more enjoyable way for people to explore their style, build their wardrobes and get dressed every day,” Baer said. “Although we do this well today, I believe we have an opportunity to do it even better, and product and technology are fundamental to that.”
The apparel box company has long touted what it calls a unique partnership of tech plus human styling services, but has struggled to find the right balance. Under Spaulding, the company tried emphasizing a “direct buy” option that allowed subscribers to shop directly on its site without the help of stylists, but walked that and other changes back as sales fell.
Some analysts question the model as too niche for the apparel business. Customers pay a $20 styling fee for an algorithm, human or both to curate five items. The fee goes toward anything they decide to purchase, and shipping both ways is free. Nordstrom and ThredUp in recent years gave up on similar concepts.
In Stitch Fix’s most recent quarter, sales and number of active clients fell, though losses narrowed thanks to cost cuts. But in his statement, Bacos said the service is “loved by its clients and still has so much opportunity to grow.”
“I’m excited to lead the Product & Technology team and develop new ways to advance the shopping experience and grow the business,” he said.