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Just in time for back-to-school, Nordstrom has snapped up the U.S. retail exclusive on Mini Boden, a children’s collection based in the U.K.
This story first appeared in the August 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The line is expected to make its debut beginning Wednesday in seven Nordstrom doors within the infants’, toddlers’, girls’ and boys’ departments, but the rollout begins in earnest in January, when an additional 55 Nordstrom locations are scheduled to sell Mini Boden. At that time, the line also will be sold on nordstrom.com. In the U.S., the collection is available only by mail order or online.
“We’ve admired the Mini Boden brand from afar for some time,” said Gary Flynn, Nordstrom’s kids’ wear national merchandise manager. “Our customers are responding to special and unique merchandise, and the Mini Boden line embodies those characteristics. We love the brand’s pure design sensibility.”
“A growing number of our American catalogue and Internet customers have been asking us to open shops,” said Robin Howard, director of children’s wear and men’s wear at Boden. “Partnering with Nordstrom gives us an ideal solution. Their quality and customer-focused culture matches ours. After working with Nordstrom’s management, we are all refreshed to find they have a similar sense of humor to ours — that means a lot to us Brits.”
Boden was founded by Johnnie Boden in 1992 as a mail-order catalogue. He started with men’s, later added women’s wear and, in 1996, launched the Mini Boden catalogue, offering modern basics and more traditional children’s clothing for boys and girls up to age 14. Aside from the direct channels, the company has two retail stores in the U.K., but none in the U.S.
In girls’, the line features funky coats, priced at roughly $60 to $80; brightly colored dresses, $38 to $58, and accessories, nighties, T-shirts, trousers, jeans and underwear.
In other Nordstrom news, the retailer completed a new three-year, $650 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility, maturing in August 2012 and replacing one that was set to mature in November 2010. At present, there are no outstanding borrowings under the revolver. The lead banks arranging the facility were Banc of America and Wells Fargo. Nordstrom operates 111 full-line stores, 61 Rack clearance units, two Jeffrey boutiques and one Nordstrom clearance unit. The initial seven doors selling Mini Boden are in Seattle; Skokie, Ill.; Paramus, N.J.; McLean, Va.; San Jose and Brea, Calif., and Dallas.