Boden and Casual Male spot potential in overseas markets


Two apparel retailers from opposite sides of the Atlantic are
expanding their reach overseas. London based Boden is continuing
to grow its Germany business, which it launched in August 2007.
Boden sees “a material business developing there over the
next few years,” according to a trading statement, and it
views “other European markets as a strong growth
opportunity”.

In its statement, Boden revealed that the US accounted for 31
per cent of its sales for 2007, or £47.8 million, a sales
increase of 35 per cent from the previous year. Boden’s total
turnover for last year was £153.6 million, up 19.5 per cent
from 2006. Boden expects its US sales to exceed £57 million
this year, although overall the company’s sales growth slowed to
9 per cent for the first half of 2008.

Meanwhile Casual Male Retail Group, a US retailer/cataloguer that
sells menswear for the big and tall market, has launched a UK
online store and has site launches planned for France, Germany,
Italy, Spain and The Netherlands in the coming weeks. The company
has tasked GSI Commerce to oversee all of its European eCommerce
operations, including the platform, web design, fulfilment and
call centre operations for its Casual Male XL and more upscale
Rochester Big & Tall brands. Each site will feature the local
language and currency. To fulfil the European orders, Casual Male
will ship merchandise from its US warehouse to Germany, where GSI
will take over fulfilment.

Casual Male currently has only one European bricks-and-mortar
store, in London, but depending on its success in Europe it may
open more stores and begin mailing print catalogues in Europe.

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