Easy Does It for Boden’s U.S. Expansion

Proceeding with caution, U.K. apparel marketer J.P. Boden & Co. mailed the second edition of its first U.S. catalog last month to 250,000 rented names. The children’s apparel title, Mini Boden, launched in the U.S. this past fall with a similar-size mailing.

While few U.K. catalogers are willing to try their luck in the mature U.S. market, ., Boden thinks of the decision as a calculated risk. “We feel very confident that we have a strong product that can be marketed to a wider audience,” says marketing director Mark Binnington.

The 84-page U.S. version of Mini Boden sells nearly the same items as the British version, including $16 topstitched long-sleeve T-shirts, $36 shift dresses, and $36 tipped cotton cardigans. Binnington says the company has restricted high-return items and certain products in its nightwear line, however.

Binnington says the company is also exploring expanding its adult line of clothing into the U.S., first by adding adult merchandise to the U.S. Website. Tests for an adult Boden catalog in the U.S. are planned for late 2003 or 2004.

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