Senk, who for the past four years has served as a non-executive director of Boden, will take up his role this month, leading the business, sharpening the digital offer and gearing for robust growth in underpenetrated markets.
He said he plans to beef up the women’s wear assortment, improve digital and customer services and push further into markets where Boden sees big potential, such as the U.S., where the brand has operated since 2002.
He succeeds Julian Granville, who will become deputy chairman of Boden. An announcement is expected Wednesday.
Boden was born as a mail-order catalogue in 1991, offering a variety of clothing for men, women and children in punchy colors and patterns. It quickly moved into e-commerce, and operates physical stores on the King’s Road and in west London. It is also sold through John Lewis stores in the U.K.
The company said that Senk “will bring his considerable international and digital experience” to Boden.
An American-born retail veteran, Senk helped to build Anthropologie from a single-store prototype to a billion-dollar brand. He subsequently became CEO of Urban Outfitters Inc., the Nasdaq-listed company that includes Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters.
Senk, who has known Boden’s founder, creative director and owner Johnnie Boden for more than two decades, said he’ll never forget the first time he saw a Boden catalogue.
“I knew immediately that I had come across a unique and special brand — a brand full of life, energy and authenticity. I look forward to working with Johnnie, Julian and the team to bring this successful, extraordinary brand to even more people.”
About 65 percent of the business is international. While the U.S. is Boden’s largest foreign market, it also represents the largest geographical opportunity for Boden, Senk said in an interview.
He added there are multiple avenues of growth to pursue, including doubling the women’s wear assortment, and refining the company’s “customer-led, digital-first” approach to business.
He said the company is in the midst of upgrading its technology and online offer, with improved imagery, shoppability, personalization, and navigation. He said the brand aspires to offer a “best-in-class digital experience” and wants customers to choose their own ways of shopping Boden.
Senk plans to hire designers, creatives, digital and tech experts as part of the drive to double the business in the next three years.
Johnnie Boden, who will remain creative director of the company, said he’s admired Senk for many years.
“He must be one of the best fashion retailers in the world. He combines an amazing creative understanding with a razor-sharp analytical mind. I truly believe Boden can double in size. We have huge opportunities in all our markets, but especially in the U.S.,” he said.
Boden posted sales of 388 million pounds in 2019, and the company described current trading as “strong” with 10 percent revenue growth for the first six months of 2021.
The company trades in more than 60 countries, with more than 1,000 employees across all markets.
Senk began his career at Bloomingdale’s, and later became CEO of the London-based Habitat International Merchandise and Marketing Group. After Habitat, he joined Williams-Sonoma as senior vice president, setting the strategy for Pottery Barn’s growth and expansion.
He remains an adviser to Berkshire Partners and sits on the boards of Aritzia and GTI, a leading cannabis company.