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UK retailer preparing for French Online Store
Jul '11
Boden, the multichannel retailer of clothing and accessories, is preparing to launch its third dedicated European website. Following hot on the heals of Boden's successful German and Austrian online stores that opened for business in 2007 and 2009 respectively, France is next on the list as part of the company's international expansion strategy.

"France is already one of our strongest markets", says Online Acquisition Manager Oliver Elliott, adding "We have thousands of loyal customers in France and the launch of a dedicated website will improve further the service we deliver."

Boden is setting up a French-speaking customer service team to handle sales and support queries and is expanding its marketing department to raise awareness of the new website. "The marketing drive will be across multiple channels, including PR, direct mail and digital", says Mr Elliott. The company will use a combination of newly recruited specialists in-house and local agencies in France to get the best possible launch for the new venture.

France offers huge opportunity for British and international retailers with a sizeable Internet population of 40 million, 72% of which are active online shoppers. The booming eCommerce market shows no sign of slowing down - according to the Observatoire des Usages Internet de Mediametrie initial figures are showing 11% e-tail growth and even higher for those over 50 or with higher education. Combining this with the traditionally high spend for clothing and accessories amongst the French, the commercial opportunity for companies like Boden is considerable.

When it launches, Boden.fr will be the fifth dedicated website of the British brand, which already operates internationally in the US, Germany and Austria. The transactional online store is set to go fully functional during the third quarter of 2011, but French visitors are already encouraged to visit a welcome page where they can sign up to email alerts.

When he could not find what he wanted on the high street, Johnnie Boden decided to start his own clothing business. Boden has grown in leaps and bounds since the first range took shape on Johnnie's kitchen table back in 1991. The company is now turning over GBP200 million a year and employing 800 staff. More than 600 womenswear pieces are on offer, as well as extensive ranges of menswear, baby, girls' clothing and boys' clothes. Boden launched operations in America in 2002, Germany in 2007, Austria in September 2009 and a French website is planned for Autumn 2011.


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