Boden plans digital investment as sales and profits grow
Boden’s new financial results to 31 December 2017 have seen a 4% growth in pre-tax profits to £27.3m with overall sales up 13% to £347m.
A major investment programme is now planned for 2018/19, including redevelopment of its website infrastructure to provide new digital platforms with greater flexibility. The new platforms will reflect more market and customer focus, providing the ability to personalise the Boden customer experience. 2017 saw a 14% increase of first time Boden customers, delivering record number of active customers across international markets.
There will be continued development of new routes to growth in retail, wholesale and partnerships. Boden opened a new store at Westfield White City in May 2018, and launched childrenswear with John Lewis in Q1 2018. It has also seen the introduction of womenswear with Nordstrom in the US, and overall sales in the US have played a pivotal role in the latest growth figures. Strong womenswear collections with more of a fashion focus have also been key, with the brand a firm favourite of Kate Middleton.
Commenting on the latest results and future plans, Boden Chief Executive, Jill Easterbrook, says: “2017 saw a year of considerable investment and this will continue for the next few years. The investment programme will provide us with a solid platform as we build Boden into an international multi-channel retailer.” Significant investment in 2018/19 is likely to have an impact on profitability in the short term.
Starting out as a mail order catalogue company in 1991 from founder Johnnie Boden’s kitchen with just eight shirts, Boden is now a thriving multi-channel business with over 1.7m customers worldwide, now trading in more than 60 countries.