London-based fashion company Boden, known for its annual turnover of £350 million, has publicly admitted to a series of mistakes and is taking decisive steps to rectify them. Founder, Johnnie Boden, has even gone as far as apologizing to customers and referring to himself as a “nitwit” for the missteps. This rare and bold move shows Boden’s commitment to transparency and customer satisfaction.

To address recent losses, Boden has made the strategic decision to halt its struggling menswear business and refocus its efforts on its traditional womenswear offering. Additionally, the company plans to revive its famous catalogue, which had been eliminated in a previous decision. As part of this strategic shift, Boden has closed its only physical store on King’s Road in London due to high rent costs and disappointing sales performance. This move allows the company to redirect resources towards its core business and online presence.

According to figures provided by The Times, Boden reported a pre-tax loss of £4.4 million in the fiscal year that ended in December. This represented a decrease in turnover of 2%, amounting to £350 million, and a decline of 5% in customer numbers, bringing the total to 1.8 million.

Boden has taken responsibility for a variety of mistakes that led to these negative results. In terms of womenswear, the company acknowledged that it had gone too far in catering to a younger demographic, which upset its loyal customer base. Additionally, reducing the distribution of its catalogue also had a negative impact. When it came to menswear, Boden struggled to establish a clear identity in a highly competitive market, and the limited size of its menswear collection hindered its ability to effectively compete with other brands like Charles Tyrwhitt. Nevertheless, Boden plans to reintroduce its menswear line in the future with a revamped strategy.

Reflecting on the catalogue’s elimination, Boden now recognizes that the decision was a costly mistake. The company underestimated the value of the catalogue as a marketing tool, even in the age of digital distribution. As a result, Boden is planning to bring back the catalogue, coinciding with the launch of its autumn/winter collection, to showcase the brand’s new direction and connect with its customer base in a more tangible way.

Boden’s willingness to acknowledge and rectify its mistakes demonstrates its dedication to its loyal customer base. By revamping its offerings and refocusing on its origins, the company hopes to regain the trust and loyalty of its customers. Only time will tell if these measures will be sufficient to restore Boden to its previous levels of success.

Useful links:

– [Boden’s official website](
– [The Times article on Boden’s mistakes](