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Nov 04, 2015
By WGSN Insider
Lots of news out of Burberry with the headline statement the UK luxury firm is to merge its Prorsum, London and Brit collections under a new, single Burberry label, plus news of a blockbuster ad campaign and a “Made in Britain” initiative.
It’s a trend we’ve already seen elsewhere in the luxury sector as companies see the importance of a single, powerful brand rather than several brands at several different price levels. Dolce & Gabbana did it with the D&G label and Marc Jacobs with its Marc label. Now a single new Burberry label will launch in stores next summer. No jobs will be lost in the consolidation, Burberry said.
CEO and creative head Christopher Bailey said the move reflects the way in which luxury customers like to experience the brand online and offline with Bailey saying Burberry can also offer “a much more consistent experience of the collections”.
He explained: “Those categories were created when Burberry sales were 70% wholesale and 30% retail. Now it’s the opposite, with retail sales that are bigger. The key is to present a cohesive brand experience.”
Bailey said the change would drive productivity and create a simple, more intuitive experience for the customer.
Does it mean all Burberry’s prices will hit Prorsum levels? Not at all. Burberry added the company would continue to sell at a range of different prices with the levels seen for its current London and Brit labels maintained.
“It will be simpler and more intuitive for our customers and more productive and efficient for our business,” he said. “The changes will make us more resilient in a new business environment because creativity in the business is strong and confidence in this great British brand is strong.”
Bailey revealed the changes before unveiling the company’s Christmas ad campaign. So how many stars does it take to make a Burberry commercial?
Step forward (deep breath) Sir Elton John, James Corden, Julie Walters, Romeo Beckham, Naomi Campbell, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Michelle Dockery, James Bay, George Ezra and Toby Huntington-Whiteley.
An all-British cast of actors, musicians and models appear in a new three-minute film that premiered across Burberry platforms yesterday evening, including Burberry.com, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Sina Weibo until the end of the year.
The “Burberry Festive Film” pays tribute to the BAFTA-winning British film Billy Elliot, which celebrates its 15th anniversary, and features original footage as well as the original soundtrack, Cosmic Dancer by T Rex.
Mario Testino also shot a separate stills campaign featuring Romeo Beckham, Naomi Campbell, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and James Bay that will run across print and digital titles.
Meanwhile, Burberry is also to invest at least £50m in a new UK trenchcoat factory. The new Leeds, Yorkshire, unit will draw together production from two separate sites in the county, creating 200 extra jobs.
The factory move – called Project Artisan – will see all 800 current staff moving to the new site by 2018, which will give Burberry the capacity to potentially triple its current UK production of 5,000 coats a week. Work on the new factory will start next year.
Bailey said: “I’m a massive believer in British manufacturing and the crafts and skills we have here. It is a tradition we should all be enormously proud of and continue to build on.”
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