boohoo—whose brand name is intentionally not capitalized—is the flagship company in a family of value-focused clothing & accessory brands targeting teenagers and young adults aged 13-30. The company began in Manchester, England in 2006, and has grown internationally, with over five million customers (according to their parent company website), with brand extensions into menswear (boohooMAN) and kids/maternity (boohooKIDS).
Founded in 2006, boohoo is an inclusive and innovative brand targeting young, value-orientated customers. After originating in Manchester, England, boohoo has grown internationally and has extended their brand into menswear through the development of the boohooMAN brand, and extended into kids/maternity products with their boohooKIDS brand. They’ve also acquired some brands under different names (PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal), and appear to be steadily expanding into different product lines and demographics.
We love their motto: “Work hard, have fun, no drama.” And even though they claim to not “take fashion or life too seriously,” they clearly offer some serious value to their millions of customers and social media fans. Their site has a trendy-but-friendly feel, and a wide range of clothing and accessories for all ages and genders.
Boohoo’s pricing is quite impressive, and they’re clearly delivering the benefits of their direct selling to consumers. The last time we evaluated their site and prices, we found stylish clothing at almost unbelievable prices: dresses from $9, earrings from $5, men’s jeans from $20, boots from $23, kids’ jackets from $12, and much more. This was in January–a month where post-holiday sales might offer higher discounts than usual—but the prices and styles were beyond exceptional.
Although we’ve classified boohoo primarily as a low cost leader, they are also able to deliver the high-value benefits found in many direct to consumer fashion brands. By having no middleman in the world of traditional retail, boohoo is able to offer a wider range of choices (not limited to traditional retail buyers’ choices), new selections can be launched frequently throughout the year (no need to wait on retail buyers’ seasonality), and the company is able to offer steep discounts directly to consumers when it’s time to discontinue one of their lines (for even greater cost savings).
Overall, their customer service appears to be excellent. We didn’t find any online chat support on their website, but they have a well-staffed and friendly customer service presence on Twitter. It appears that several employees monitor that feed at any given time, and we found replies to be fast and helpful. They even sign their individual names to their replies!
On their most prominent Facebook page, their responsiveness rating is currently listed as, “Typically replies instantly.”
There are no local boohoo shops or showrooms listed on their website, but if you’re worried about whether an item will fit, boohoo has you covered: there’s a handy “size guide” showing you where to measure and how, and then the corresponding measurements are listed in the product descriptions. It seems to leave little margin for error, from our vantage point!
If you do need to return a product, they’ve got you covered as well. The return policy seems generous for a clothing company. Customers in Europe have a 14-30 day window to cancel their order for a refund (in Europe only) or to return products that are returnable. In the US, customers have 28 days for product returns, and boohoo’s integration with USPS in America should make returns quite easy for most people.
The return policy is clearly displayed on the individual product pages we looked at, as well as on its own separate page on the site.
Lastly, boohoo maintains a fun blog called The Fix, which is a mashup of fashion and lifestyle content. It reflects their motto and mission to be fashionable and fun, and aggregates their social feeds. And with their Instagram feed recently reaching a whopping three million followers, it appears that plenty of people agree with our assessment that boohoo is one of the best direct to consumer brands in the fashion industry!
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