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A year of transformation at Burberry sees social innovations, digital expansion and a different role for stores

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Burberry says it has achieved its objectives in the first year of its latest transformation, following the arrival of new creative director Riccardo Tisci.

The retailer has rethought aspects its business, from creative, to marketing, digital and distribution over the course of the year. Alongside a new creative vision – with new logo and product aesthetic – it has also started to align its distribution and marketing. Digital innovations included the launch of the B-Series – a monthly drop of limited edition products sold on social platforms. It also partnered with Instagram on the launch of its checkout, enabling customers to buy straight from the Burberry Instagram shop. Digital growth was driven by sales in Asia, over mobile and through new third-party relationships. 

It has upgraded and rationalised its store network, focusing on its flagship stores. By the end of 2020 it expects to have more than 80 flagship stores in its new style, while it will also close 38 smaller stores in secondary markets. During the past year, a net 18 stores closed, and 14 stores were upgraded to the new look. Stores opened in China, while its Dubai flagship was moved and expanded. That rationalisation has extended to its wholesale network, where it has started “phasing out non-luxury doors”. 

In its full-year statement, Burberry said: “All these initiatives helped reignite brand heat and significantly shift consumer perceptions of Burberry. During the year, we added more than 3 million followers on our key social platforms and significantly increased our engagement on Instagram. We have received strong organic endorsement from some of the world’s most followed celebrities and influential fashion icons, and we have seen a step-change in the response from fashion press.”

Burberry reported £2.7bn in revenues in the year to March 30. That’s unchanged flat on the previous year. Pre-tax profits of £441m were 7% up on the same time last year. 

Marco Gobetti, chief executive of Burberry, said: “We made excellent progress in the first year of our plan to transform Burberry, while at the same time delivering financial performance in line with expectations. Riccardo Tisci’s first collections arrived in stores at the end of February and the initial reaction from customers is very encouraging.”

Burberry is a Top250 retailer in IRUK Top500 research.

Image courtesy of Burberry

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