Burberry Group plc
Burberry Group, a British luxury fashion house with worldwide sales, specialises in the design, manufacturing and marketing of top-of-the-range clothes and accessories. The company's main fashion house focuses on and distributes ready-to-wear outerwear, sneakers, fashion accessories, fragrances, sunglasses, and cosmetics.
Sales break down by activity as follows:
- 80.30%: Retail distribution: activity conducted, at the end of March 2019, through a network of 475 stores distributed between company-owned stores (233; Burberry name), concession stores (146), franchised stores (44) and other (52);
- 17.9%: Wholesale distribution;
- 1.8%: Licensed sales.
Distinctively British: er, no. Burberry has two UK factories, out of a total of 21. Most production takes place in countries with appalling wage levels (and working hours) to keep costs down, meanwhile handing excessive pay levels and stock options to its CEOs.
Environmental Impact: the fashion industry has a disastrous environment impact, and the damage increases as the industry grows. Textile dyeing is the 2nd largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture. Polyester fabrics shed plastic microfibres when they are washed. Most cotton is genetically modified, leading to high levels of toxic pesticide use; fertilisers and pesticides heavily pollute runoff and evaporation waters.
Textile waste: clothing retailers want to sell ever more, which is the entire reason for the fashion industry's existence. Clothing has come to be seen as "disposable", and that's not an accident. The amount of clothing purchased worldwide doubled from 50bn items to 100bn items in the last 15 years.
Exclusivity: luxury brands maintain their exclusivity by destroying excess products to prevent them from being discounted, and/or being sold on the grey market. Overproduction is the cause; firms could simply manufacture less.
$$s to Destroy: many countries offer a financial incentive for brands to destroy unused products, by refunding up to 99% of import duties.
Ethical: GoodOnYou has given Burberry an "It's a Start" rating, due to using few eco-friendly materials; sourcing the final stage of production from countries with extreme risk of labour abuse; and the use of leather, exotic animal skin and exotic animal hair.
- 5.42% Lindsell Train Ltd
- 5.03% Massachusetts Financial Services Co.
- 4.52% Baillie Gifford & Company
- 3.09% Desmarais Family Residuary Trust Jacqueline Desmarais
- 3.05% Schroder Investment Management Ltd
- 2.89% Vanguard Group Inc
- 2.49% Thornburg Investment Management Inc
- 2.46% Legal & General Investment Management Ltd
- 2.46% BlackRock Fund Advisors
- 2.45% T Rowe Price Associates Inc
|Aug.2018||New Logo and Monogram, designed by English graphic designer Peter Saville, was rolled out.|
|Mar.2011||Expansion: Burberry formed a joint venture in Saudi Arabia with Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co, transferring 5 stores from franchise operation.|
|Sept.2010||Kwok Hang Holdings, a Chinese retail operation, was acquired, giving Burberry control of its brand in the fastest-growing luxury market in the world. Other franchisees, with 50 stores in 30 cities, were also brought in-house.|
|Jun.2010||Ethical Trading Initiative: Burberry became a member.|
|Jan.2010||India: Burberry formed a joint venture with Genesis Colors Pvt. Ltd (49%). Genesis Colors is financed by Sequoia Capital (21.9%), Silicon Valley Bank India Capital (1.59%) and Mayfield (7.23%); they also hold preference shares.|
|Nov.2008||Japan: Burberry formed a joint venture in Japan for non-apparel with its long-standing licensing partners, Sanyo Shokai and Mitsui & Co.|
|Nov.2008||Burberry Middle East LLC: Burberry formed a 15-year joint venture with long-standing franchisee, family-owned Jashanmal Group, to manage all Burberry retail and wholesale distribution in the UAE markets.|
|Mar.2008||Burberry Foundation was established as a charity. Burberry makes an annual donation.|
|Dec.2005||GUS plc divested its remaining 65% stake in Burberry Group plc, as the change in reputation was having too many accompanying economic challenges.|
|Jun.2002||Partial IPO: GUS plc confirmed its intention to seek a listing for shares in Burberry Group plc on the London Stock Exchange by way of a global offer to institutions. GUS retained a 77% stake.|
|2001‑2005||Licensing Vehicle: Burberry was selling its trademark to “partners” throughout the world who made their own products and slapped on a Burberry label. The change in the brand's reputation was attributed to lower priced products, the proliferation of counterfeit goods adopting Burberry's trademark check pattern, and adoption by celebrities prominently identified with "chav" culture. Burberry also became associated with football hooligan culture, whose signature accessory was a baseball cap in Burberry check. However, Burberry emerged relatively unscathed, perhaps because the UK market accounted for a small fraction of sales, and chavs were a purely British tribe.|
|Jul.2000||Burberry Spain SA, a Spanish franchisee owned by the Mora family, had built a huge business designing casualwear that bore no relationship to what was being designed in London, generating 20% of Burberry's revenues. Nevertheless, the firm was bought out, and its damaging practices stopped.:4|
|1997||Rose Marie Bravo: Gus hired a new CEO after the old one retired in 1996. Ms Bravo controversially but effectively turned the company around.|
|1980s||Uncontrolled licensing: Burberry licensed its name, plaid, and knight logo to other manufacturers; with limited control over licensed products, the brand suffered from discrepancies in quality and price as well as from parallel trading, especially in Asia.|
|1970s‑1980s||Expansion: Burberry signed agreements with global manufacturers to produce complementary products to the existing British collection such as suits, trousers, shirts, sportswear, and accessories. The products, designed under the strict control of London HQ, were produced and distributed through independent retail stores worldwide as well as the Burberry stores.|
|1970||Japan: Burberry entered into a licensing agreement with Mitsui to manufacture licensed products for the Japanese market with Sanyo Shokai Ltd. Sanyo Shokai New York|
|1965||Sanyo Shokai started importing Burberry coats to Japan, and went on to independently develop Burberry products specially for Japanese customers.|
|1955||Great Universal Stores acquired 100% of Burberry, delisting the company and taking it private.|
|1940s||World War II: Burberry supplied the British Army, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy, the Royal Pioneer Corps, the Officer Cadet Training Unit, and the Auxiliary Territorial Service with a range of military apparel and accessories, including trench coats.|
|1914||World War I: the War Office commissioned Burberry to design a new uniform for British officers; this was to be the origin of Burberry’s iconic trench coat and the trademark Burberry Check pattern.|
|1924||Burberry Check: the eponymous check made its appearance on the lining of raincoats.|
|1920||Thomas Burberry & Sons was floated on the London Stock Exchange.|
|1915||Expansion: Burberry commenced exporting to Japan.|
|1909||Expansion: a Burberry store was opened in Paris, France.|
|1891||London store: Burberry opened its first London store in the Haymarket, London. "Burberry" was the original name until it became "Burberrys", due to many customers from around the world calling it "Burberrys of London".|
|1879||Gabardine, as we know it today, was invented by Thomas Burberry. The original fabric was worsted wool or twill (worsted wool combined with cotton), and was waterproofed using lanolin prior to being woven, producing a hardwearing, water-resistant yet breathable fabric. Patented in 1888. Gabardine|
|1880s||Thomas Burberry's sons joined the business, and a 2nd London store was opened in partnerhip with a company called RB Rolls.|
|1870||The business established itself by focusing on the development of outdoor attire.|
|1856||T Burberry & Sons: Thomas Burberry, a 21-year old former draper's apprentice, opened an outfitter's business in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.|