Burberry bets on bags to fashion sales turnaround

UK fashion company Burberry Group is betting on growth in its smaller handbag business and playing up its trademark colours as new chief executive Marco Gobbetti seeks to join the luxury industry’s turnaround.

Burberry bets on bags to fashion sales turnaround

At its first major runway show since Mr Gobbetti took over in July, the trenchcoat maker showed off reversible tote bags decked out in its tartan plaid, including a £1,490 (€1,694) version lined in honey calfskin.

“We have already established a very good platform in accessories and leather goods, but I think we have a great opportunity,” Mr Gobbetti said. “I’m very confident that will be a big area of development for us.”

In placing a priority on handbags, Mr Gobbetti is borrowing from the strategy of LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and Hermes International, which generate much of their profit from leather goods and are bouncing back from a multiyear slump in Asia.

The CEO’s comments signal he’ll seek growth from an accessories business that generated sales of £1bn (€1.13bn) in the past fiscal year, or 38% of Burberry’s total.

Mr Gobbetti took over the role from Christopher Bailey, who remains as creative director. The new tote bags, trenchcoats and baseball caps featured prominent displays of the brand’s camel check at London Fashion Week. Mr Bailey previously reined in use of the pattern during his 15 years at the company after it was embraced as an emblem of British street culture, tarnishing its exclusivity.


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