Burberry ditches discounting as sales rebound to pre-pandemic highs

Sales at global fashion brand Burberry are bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels despite some lockdowns and restrictions remaining.

Store closures have all but ended for Burberry, which said that by the end of June, just 3 per cent of sites were closed, although 35 per cent are still operating on reduced hours as tourists stay away. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

The rebound has come as the British group managed to sell more products at full price, relying less on discounts. Wealthy Asian and American shoppers have also been spending in local stores rather than travelling to Europe to buy the latest designs.

As a result, sales in Europe remain deflated – down 38 per cent on pre-Covid levels – while the group’s Asia-Pacific region is strong, up 7 per cent, and the Americas up 34 per cent.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The retailer added that its customers have taken advantage of the easing of restrictions in recent months, snapping up outerwear, leather goods and shoes in particular.

Some have also been checking out the retailer’s new “global design concept” in Sloane Street, London, and bosses said three more flagships will open over the next year.

In the 13 weeks to June 26 sales hit £479 million, compared to £257m during the same period a year ago – at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

Store closures have all but ended for Burberry, which said that by the end of June, just 3 per cent of sites were closed, although 35 per cent are still operating on reduced hours as tourists stay away.

Outgoing chief executive Marco Gobbetti, who announced he was leaving the group last month, said: “We saw strong growth across our strategic categories, in particular leather goods and outerwear, and exited markdowns in digital and mainline stores.

“Despite the continuing challenging external environment, we are very pleased with the progress against our strategy. With the company firmly set on a path of growth and acceleration, we are confident of achieving our medium-term goals.”

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at financial services group Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Burberry’s ultra-savvy marketing drives are helping the company win new style hungry customers across the world, desperate to get their hands on a slice of the brand and willing to pay full price for the privilege.

“Making a heel turn away from in-store markdowns and reducing outlets was a risk, but it’s paying off for the company.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription: www.scotsman.com/subscriptions

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.