|Traded as||LSE: BRBY|
|Founded||Basingstoke, England (1856)|
|Number of locations||473|
|Key people||John Peace, (Chairman)
Angela Ahrendts, (CEO)
Christopher Bailey, (CCO)
|Revenue||£1,857.2 million (2012)|
|Operating income||£376.9 million (2012)|
|Net income||£265.1 million (2012)|
Burberry Group plc is a British luxury fashion house, distributing clothing and fashion accessories and licensing fragrances. Its distinctive tartan pattern has become one of its most widely copied trademarks. Burberry is most famous for its trench coat, which was designed by founder Thomas Burberry. The company has branded stores and franchises around the world and also sells through concessions in third-party stores. Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince of Wales have granted the company Royal Warrants. The Chief Creative Officer is Christopher Bailey. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
Early years, 19th century
Burberry was founded in 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a former draper's apprentice, opened his own store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. By 1870, the business had established itself by focusing on the development of outdoors attire. In 1880, Burberry introduced in his brand the gabardine, a hardwearing, water-resistant yet breathable fabric, in which the yarn is waterproofed before weaving. "Burberry" was the original name, but then the company soon switched to using the name "Burberrys", after many customers from around the world began calling it "Burberrys of London". This name is still visible on many older Burberry products. In 1891 Burberry opened a shop in the Haymarket, London. Until 2007, the company was headquartered in a nearby building also on the Haymarket. The headquarters are now located in Horseferry House, just behind the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster. The Haymarket building is currently vacant, but the characteristic "Burberrys" clock remains on the façade.
In 1901, the Burberry Equestrian Knight Logo was developed containing the Latin word "Prorsum", meaning forwards, and registered as a trademark. In 1911 they became the outfitters for Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole, and Ernest Shackleton, who led a 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica. A Burberry gabardine jacket was worn by George Mallory on his ill-fated attempt on Mount Everest in 1924.
In 1914, Burberry was commissioned by the War Office to adapt its officer's coat to suit the conditions of contemporary warfare, resulting in the "trench coat". After the war, the trench coat became popular with civilians. The iconic Burberry check was created in the 1920s and used as a lining in its trench coats.
Burberry was an independent company until 1955, when it was taken over by Great Universal Stores (GUS).
During the 1970s, the brand became popular with the British casual cult, leading to its being associated with members of football firms by the 1990s and 'chav's the following decade. Such a shift in a brand's clientele exemplifies prole drift.
In 1998, Burberry's changed their marketing name to Burberry. Most of their items changed too, but many accessory items still had the Burberry's name.
In May 2001, Christopher Bailey joined Burberry as creative director. GUS divested its remaining interest in Burberry in December 2005. Burberry Group plc was initially floated on the London Stock Exchange in July 2002. In 2005, Sanyo-shokai was the Burberry ready-to-wear licence holder in Japan with retail value of €435 million.
In 2006 Rose Marie Bravo, who as Chief Executive had led Burberry to mass market success through licensing, decided to retire. She was replaced by another American Angela Ahrendts, who joined from Liz Claiborne in January 2006, and took up the position of CEO on 1 July 2006. Ahrendts and Bailey successfully turned around the then Chav-like reputation that the brand had acquired at the end of Bravo's tenure, by removing the brand's iconic check-pattern from all but 10% of the company's products and buying out the Spanish franchise that was worth 20% of group revenues. Part of the new design-led drive and vision was taken from admiring and learning lessons from iconic leading design brands, including Apple Inc. Burberry first began selling online in the US, followed by the UK in October 2006, and the rest of the EU in 2007. Bailey became Chief Creative Officer in November 2009, whilst it was reported that during 2012 Ahrendts was the highest paid CEO in the UK, making £16.9m, the first time a woman topped the table.
In recent years, Burberry has attempted to rebrand itself with advertisements in GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Tatler and Harper's Bazaar, and is well known for using British celebrities in its advertising, including models Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn, Jourdan Dunn and Lily Donaldson, singer George Craig, actress Emma Watson, who was named the face of Burberry's 2009 autumn/winter campaign and the cover model for the 2010 spring/summer campaign, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who was unveiled as the face of Burberry's newest fragrance, Burberry Body, in July 2011. In June 2010, the Group launched its first cosmetics line, Burberry Beauty.
In October 2013 it was announced that Ahrendts would take up the position of Senior Vice President of retail and online at Apple, Inc. from April 2014, and be replaced as CEO by Bailey. During her tenure, sales increased to over £2Bn, and shares gained more than threefold to £7Bn. Although Burberry promotes its British connection, according to The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, as of July 2012, Burberry maintains only two production facilities in Great Britain, one in Castleford producing raincoats, and a smaller one in Keighley.
The Burberry Foundation
The Burberry Foundation was established in 2008 and is a philanthropic organisation dedicated to help young people realise their dreams through the power of their creativity.
Burberry operates under 3 brands:
- Burberry Prorsum – Base line for other brands.
- Burberry London – Heritage outerwear 'wear to work' items, including business wear.
- Burberry Brit – The most accessible of the Burberry brands, with entry level pricing.
Burberry offers a range of checks:
- Haymarket: Classic check with the Burberry Equestrian Knight
- House: Classic check without the Burberry Equestrian Knight
- Nova: The newer and bigger check pattern. Has a cream/tan background with vertical and horizontal black and pink/red stripes
- Supernova: Larger than Nova check.
- Exploded: Exploded check usually in metallic colours like silver
- Smoked: Classic check in a darker colour with no Equestrian Knight detail
- The Beat: Classic check in black and white.
Burberry has over 500 stores in over 50 countries.
- "Annual Report 2012". Burberry. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- Burberry to roll out Chatter to 9,000 staff, Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Chastain, Sue (1985-12-04). "TRENCHANT COAT CUFFS MAY FRAY AND BUTTONS MAY POP, BUT A TRUE BELIEVER WON'T ABANDON HIS BURBERRY". Chicago Tribune: pp. 40
- The When It Comes To Fashion Brands, This Year Armani, Burberry, J. Crew Matter More, Ralph Lauren And Banana Republic A Little Less
- Best Global Brands 2013
- "Burberry History". Burberryplc.com. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "DH Comet G-ACSS & The Burberry Racer Project". Key Publishing Ltd. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Day, Julia (1 November 2004). "Burberry doffs its cap to 'chavs'". Guardian. UK. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "'This is perfect for Burberry'". Money.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "'Burberry - Voguepedia'". Vogue. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- McDowell, Colin (6 September 2009). "Christopher Bailey: Burberry's golden boy". The Times. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
- Jones, Dolly (11 November 2009). "All Hail Bailey". Vogue. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
- Finch, Julia (18 November 2005). "GUS shareholders to receive Burberry cheque". Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- Burberry IPO gets away amid market turmoil[dead link]
- Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
- Bravo quits Burberry[dead link]
- Angela Ahrendts Biography
- "Shop on line". Uk.burberry.com. 5 December 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- Petroff, Alanna. "Top paid CEO in U.K. is an American woman". CNN Money. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "The 17 million FTST Queen - Burberry boss tops chief executive earning list". www.dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Zinderman, Carly (15 July 2009). "A Grown-up Emma Watson Models for Burberry". International Business Times. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "Emma Watson’s Spring/ Summer 2010 Burberry Ads Revealed!". Stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- Sample Burberry's new Body scent via Facebook The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August 2011
- The 10 Burberry Beauty Products We'll Be Buying From The Brand's First Dedicated Beauty Space
- Andrew Roberts (15 October 2013). "Burberry Designer Bailey to Become CEO as Ahrendts Goes to Apple". Bloomberg. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- The Hypocrisy of Burberry's 'Made in Britain' appeal
- According to Burberry's new shopper system, are you Brit, London or Prorsum?
- Check bags
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