Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Christopher Bailey and Burberry prove the doubters wrong


The iconic brand has reported a stronger-than-expected increase in same-story sales thanks to “strong” desire for its heritage trench coats and scarves.

Following recent speculation that the British luxury goods giant was the target of a takeover, Burberry posted revenue of £1.4bn for its second half underlying sales, up 9% on the same period the previous year.

Overall revenues were lifted 10% to £1.42bn, mostly in line with expectations, which Burberry attributes to retail operations in the US and Europe. Both regions delivered double digit same-store sales growth, compensating for continuing  weaker demand in Asia (Burberry reported comparable sales growth in a “low single digit” percentage in Asia).

Christopher Bailey, Burberry‘s Creative Director and Chief Executive, took on the responsibilities of former Burberry Boss Angela Ahdrents when she left for Apple last year, whilst still carrying out the roles of Creative Director. He cites that customers were responding well to new product ranges and that Burberry‘s digital side of the business continues to outperform other divisions.

“We anticipate external challenges will continue in the current year, but remain confident in our long-term strategy to build the Burberry brand and business globally” he said in a statement this morning.

“Combining the roles of CCO and CEO raised a lot of eyebrows, but Bailey has carried on where Ahrendts left off. That Burberry has recently become the subject of takeover speculation is testament to the strategy Bailey is delivering,” comments Paul Thomas, a retail consultant.

“The return to the Burberry staples of trench coats and scarves has served the brand well. It is a back-to-basics approach, which, of course, is anything but basic. Where Burberry excels is in its understanding of how technology, and digital are part of the customer experience. The Burberry brand experience is end-to-end rather than focused on the end product,” adds Thomas.

“There is still volatility in certain markets but there is nothing to suggest Burberry won‘t continue delivering strong levels of growth in the short- to medium-term.”


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