Boden

Boden

Exited in 2007

Boden is one of the UK’s most well known brands – selling stylishly casual clothing for men, women and children through its catalogue and website in the UK, Europe and the USA. Sales now exceed £250m.

When Johnnie Boden launched the business in 1991 his idea was to design and sell classic clothing for men. But by 1999, when Piper were invited to invest, Boden turnover had grown to £18m, clothing not just men, but women and children too. The brand was now competing directly with the likes of M&S and Gap.

Challenge

Although growth had been rapid, founder Johnnie and MD Julian Granville recognised the business faced a number of challenges if it was to succeed in its next phase. Yes, capital was needed to grow the business – but it was needed alongside partner support that went beyond money.

Johnnie summarises the decision to choose Piper succinctly:

“I felt they would advise, that they had experience of similar companies in the sector and that they would hold my hand without throwing their weight around. And that’s exactly what happened.”

Support

Working alongside the Boden team, Piper helped the brand not just through funding, but with practical support too:

Improving profitability by better planning
Avoiding the distraction of becoming a retailer at the expense of being a highly efficient and effective direct-only brand
Driving sales through more customer research and insight
Recognising the need to build an outstanding second tier management team to support rapid growth
Strategically planning Boden’s move into international markets

We really rate Piper. The fact that we asked them to stay on the Board, even though they were no longer investors – that says it all

Julian Granville, MD, Boden.

The journey

1992 First Boden Menswear catalogue delivered
1999 Piper invests, Sales £18M, Profits £0M
2003 Launched in USA
2006 Launched in Germany and Austria
2007 Piper exits, Sales £156M
2012 Sales £250M+

Current investments