Mobile and a single view of the product both helped Burberry to report strong growth in digital sales today.
Mobile, said the luxury clothing and accessories retailer in a first-quarter trading statement
, delivered "the majority" of growth in the online channel, with visits from tablet computers and smartphones accounting for almost 60% of traffic to its website.
Also key to trading, said Burberry – a Top250 company in IRUK Top500
research, was the single view of the product. Stock in about 90 stores can now be seen by shoppers who search online, improving availability in "all online markets".
The update came in a trading statement that showed retail revenue of £423m in the three months to June 30, 4% up on the same time last year. But like-for-like sales, which strip out store openings and closures, were down by 3%.
"In what remained a challenging external environment, underlying retail sales were flat in the first quarter," said Christopher Bailey, chief creative and chief executive officer. "In this context we continue to focus on managing our business with agility whilst implementing the ambitious evolution of our strategies and ways of working... to position Burberry for long-term growth."
He said a strategy of focusing on ecommerce, key products and retail productivity was now underway.
Interestingly, Burberry said that it had seen an improvement in the UK market in the final weeks of the quarter – which ran to June 30 – "to deliver mid single-digit percentage comparable growth." That period includes one week after the EU referendum result, when sterling fell in value and should have made Burberry goods more affordable to those spending on the UK website in foreign currencies. Looking ahead, it said that if exchange rates remained at current levels it would expect profits to be up by about £90m on the same time last year.
Meanwhile, continental Europe "remained depressed, with double digit declines in sales to travelling luxury customers, in particular France and Italy, offset in part by growth from domestic consumers in all major markets".
Fashion products sold well, including cashmere trench coats, rucksacks seen on the runway, and new lines of menswear clothing.