Burberry Group is aiming for a big comeback after a protracted dry spell marked by falling sales and consumer interest.
The plans announced yesterday for the new Burberry call for narrowing of the product range, a massive pair-down on costs, and a sharper focus on handbags and digital sales.
CEO Christopher Bailey — now under great pressure to right the — has said he plans on “significant changes” to save 100 million pounds ($144 million) in the next year and will reduce the product range by as much 20 percent.
The plan also calls for a reduction that will not entail wholesale abandoning any categories so much as it will involve “moving from breadth to depth.” In bags, where the company’s sales trail peers, Burberry will increase marketing ahead of new product introductions next year.
“Creating new demand has to be at the core of Burberry’s future strategy,” said Paul Thomas, an analyst at consultant Retail Remedy.
“The external environment has remained challenging and underlying cost inflation pressures persist,” noted a Burberry spokesperson.
ECommerce also factors prominently in the turnaround effort, as online sales are targeted to account for about 33 percent of revenue growth per year over the next three, according to Burberry. Burberry.com is central to that effort — and the firm is looking to focus on higher conversion (particularly on mobile) and better eCommerce penetration worldwide (particularly in Asia).
The firm is also focused on “integrating and improving customer experiences across online and offline.”
In fiscal 2017, Burberry.com will relaunch, and the retailer will introduce a customer app with mobile checkout and customer connectivity. While Burberry does not separately report commerce vs. physical sales, the luxury retailer has noted that “digital outperformed during the year, delivering growth in all regions.”