John Lewis to take Boden to high street as chain's fashion-focused strategy continues to pay off
John Lewis said this week that it will open Boden womenswear concessions in its department stores, bringing the popular mail order brand’s clothing to UK physical stores for the first time.
The first five concessions will open this autumn with more planned next year and all the products in the physical stores will also available online at John Lewis’s own website.
John Lewis has made a major play for fashion growth in recent years and that strategy has paid off. Its moves have included the launch of premium trend-focused own-brands and growth in wholesale brands. It has also specialised in bringing online labels into the physical space and last year John Lewis opened five concessions with Hush and six concessions with Finery. It has since added a further 12 concessions with these brands.
Boden, an affordable-to-mid-priced label much loved by the middle class family shopper, is likely to appeal strongly to the core John Lewis shopper too.
Christine Kasoulis, John Lewis buying director fashion, said: “The introduction of Boden builds on our continued strategy to provide our customers with an inspiring selection of unique brands that they cannot find anywhere else on the high street.”
The first five concessions will open in the Oxford Street, London flagship store, as well as in Cambridge, Reading, Southampton and Oxford late in October.
In the last financial year, sales of womenswear at John Lewis grew by 6.8% and this year has seen fashion being a consistently strong performer in terms of its weekly sales figures.
On Tuesday, the retailer reported total sales in the seven days to April 22 rise only 1.6% year-on-year to £74.9 million and while fashion sales showed a rare decrease (of just 0.4%), this was caused by the chain having been closed on Easter Sunday. On the same April Sunday last year the stores were open as Easter had fallen earlier in March.
However, the new weekly figures made it clear that fashion is still outperforming. Women’s casualwear continued to see sales rises after several weeks of strong demand while swimwear & nightwear also enjoyed sales growth, up by 16.9%. And childrenswear had a good week of trade largely driven by sales of children’s shoes, up 31.5%, as kids headed back to school after the Easter break.
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