Boden, the upmarket specialist direct mail-order company, is planning to move into retail within a year.
The mail-order company has already operated a shop at its warehouse in London, but it has been forced to surrender the space to the rest of the business.
“The shop was very successful, but because of the dynamics of the business we had to give it up,” says Mark Binnington, marketing director for Boden, which produces exclusive clothing merchandise aimed at AB customers in the top 20 per cent of earners and aged 35 to 50 years old.
He adds: “Opening a retail outlet is something we hope to do in the next 12 months. A lot of our target customers aren’t mail-order shoppers; predominantly they are retail shoppers and have an aversion to mail-order. We know that a shop would open big opportunities for us.”
Binnington says that the mail-order company would prefer to open a standalone shop, probably in London, rather than operating a concession within a department store.
Boden, launched in 1991 and named after the owner Johnnie Boden, reportedly made sales of more than &£37m in 2001. The clothing company has hired Liquorice to handle a direct marketing campaign to promote its catalogue and the website. The campaign is due to break in the autumn and will include first-order postcards, recommend-a-friend postcards, competitions and a number of different letter formats.