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Burberry’s shop as you choose strategy helps lift sales by 17%

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Burberry’s strategy of enabling shoppers to buy however they choose helped to lift its retail sales by 15% and overall sales by 17% in its latest financial year.

Retail sales, which represent 70% of Burberry’s total revenue, were “driven by improving store productivity and strong digital commerce,” the company said as it released results for the year to March 31.

Overall, revenues grew to £2.3bn, 17% ahead of the same time last year, while pre-tax profits by 27% to £444.4m.

“Reflecting changing consumer behaviour, Burberry continued to blur the lines between the physical and digital (or offline and online) to enable customers to interact with the brand however they choose,” the statement said. That was reflected in the fact that orders taken on iPads in store accounted for more than a quarter (25%) of total digital sales, up from 15% last time, even while in-store footfall was weak. The company focused on investing in improving the customer experience online and offline. In-store, Burberry now has its Customer 1-2-1 tool in almost 400 stores, while the number of private client sales associates has been doubled.

Online, the retailer invested in website, adding three languages, and in delivery options: collect-in-store is now available in about 120 of its stores. The two worked together, said Burberry. “Online, both traffic and conversion grew, with the integration of digital into the regional infrastructure driving the growth of sales via iPads in-store and collect-in-store,” the statement said.

The year saw Burberry double its selling space in its flagship Chinese market of Shanghai, while also opening a net nine new stores in the country, as part of its strategy to invest in under-penetrated markets. More openings, along with investment in digital, are planned for the year ahead, when the company will also focus on new Japanese opportunities.

Christopher Bailey, chief creative and chief executive officer, overseeing his first set of full-year results at the helm, said: “Burberry delivered record sales and profit in 2013/14. The strength of this performance reflects sustained strategic focus, continued investment, disciplined execution and outstanding brand momentum during the year.

“As we enter a new chapter, our teams are united and energised by the opportunities ahead – from unlocking Japan, to accelerating beauty and further integrating the physical and digital to deliver distinctive experiences. While mindful of macroeconomic uncertainties and currency headwinds, we remain focused on the things we can control and confident of driving sustainable future growth, benefiting all our stakeholders.”

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