Burberry sales return to pre-pandemic levels as younger shoppers splash out

The luxury fashion retailer Burberry has reported a rebound in sales to pre-pandemic levels driven by a boom in younger shoppers, with products including leather goods, jackets and shoes proving particularly popular.

Burberry, which operates 454 stores, concessions and franchises globally, said it had made an “excellent start to the year”, and the recovery had allowed it to stop the discount price strategy employed in stores and online globally during the coronavirus crisis to try to drive sales.

The luxury fashion brand reported revenues of £479m in the 13 weeks to 26 June, up 86% on the same period last year, and 1% on sales in 2019.

“Full-price sales accelerated as our collections and campaigns attracted new, younger luxury customers to the brand,” said Marco Gobbetti, who announced last month that he would stand down as chief executive after almost five years. “We saw strong growth across our strategic categories, in particular, leather goods and outerwear, and exited markdowns in digital and mainline stores.”

Burberry said sales of goods at full price were up 121% compared with last year, and up 26% compared with 2019. Full-price sales online more than doubled compared with pre-pandemic.

Full-price sales of leather goods and outerwear such as jackets, quilts and downs doubled compared with last year, while there was triple-digit growth for shoe sales year on year.

Sales levels grew 146% year on year in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA), 27% in Asia Pacific and 341% in the Americas.

Asia Pacific has returned to pre-pandemic sales levels, up 7% compared with 2019, driven by a boom in new shoppers in mainland China, which were 55% higher than pre-pandemic, and Korea, which rose more than 90%. The Americas region is also back at pre-pandemic sales levels, up 34%.

However, sales in the EMEIA region still remain 38% below pre-pandemic levels as the region continues to be hit by low levels of tourists and store closures because of Covid-19, particularly in continental Europe.

On average, 11% of Burberry’s stores were closed during the trading period, although this reduced to only 3% by the end of June as pandemic restrictions continue to be eased in most markets. However, more than a third of stores are still operating on reduced hours.

“We have made an excellent start to the new fiscal year,” said Gobbetti, who is to become chief executive at the luxury Italian group Salvatore Ferragamo. “Despite the continuing challenging external environment, we are very pleased with the progress against our strategy.”

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