Boden trial of retail formats creates design opportunities

Home shopping retailer Boden is planning to roll out a series of retail templates to test its first raft of high street shops over the ‘next couple of years’, Design Week can exclusively reveal.

It has also been working with design consultancy Carter Wong Tomlin on developing its first ‘brand persona’ campaign, as it seeks to make its mark on the high street and raise awareness among customers who are not familiar with the Boden brand.

The bricks and mortar debut follows the opening of Boden’s ‘destination’ outlet in London last summer, which is best seen as ‘an extension of the catalogue business’ rather than a high street shop, says Julian Granville, managing director at Boden.

The retailer is now planning to test a range of smaller, more conventional retail formats that can be replicated across the UK high street in a cost-effective way, says Granville. The company has not purchased any sites yet, but it is looking to build shops in a number of key locations, including London.

Boden currently works with independent design consultant Tim May, former chairman at Design House, but has not ruled out collaborating with other designers on the project.

The concepts for the marketing campaign are still being developed, but the creative work is likely to run across posters and other promotional literature. It will break next spring.

‘Historically we have not really looked at how we communicate beyond our customer base – we will be testing a different media mix,’ says Mark Binnington, marketing director for Boden.

Carter Wong Tomlin was appointed by Boden earlier this year and was selected following ‘discussions’ held between six consultancies.

The consultancy is also redesigning the company’s catalogue, which will remain quirky and aspirational, but will be ‘interpreted in an original way’, says Granville.

It may be produced in a different format and will feature different fonts and more graphical treatments, adds Binnington.

From home to high street

• Boden was founded in 1991 as a menswear mail order retailer

• It launched womenswear in 1994

• The website launched in April 1999

• Projected turnover for 2005 is £104m

• Sales increased by 40% last year to £85m

Latest articles