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Burberry Sales Fell 12 Percent in Early 2024

The brand isn’t the only one struggling in a cooling luxury market, but the weak numbers increase pressure on CEO Jonathan Akeroyd to deliver Burberry’s long-awaited turnaround.
Burberry's re-opened flagship store on New Bond Street in London.
Burberry's re-opened flagship store on New Bond Street in London. (Courtesy Burberry)

Burberry’s revenues were flat excluding currency shifts in the twelve months through March 30, the British luxury brand said Wednesday.

Sales dropped 12 percent in the first three months of 2024 as the company’s attempts to build momentum around a revamped offer faltered amid a cooling luxury market.

Burberry isn’t the only luxury player who is struggling: Gucci’s sales fell 20 percent in the first quarter, while Italian footwear house Ferragamo registered a 17 percent drop. Even the sector’s biggest player LVMH reported a 2 percent dip in reported revenues.

“Executing our plan against a backdrop of slowing luxury demand has been challenging,” chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd said.

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The brand has continued to focus its message on Britishness (albeit a more niche, arty take on its national heritage) as well as following up chief creative officer Daniel Lee’s runway vision with more accessible products for stores.

“We are confident in our strategy and in our ability to navigate this period,” Akeroyd told reporters Wednesday, reiterating the company’s ambition to grow into a £4 billion-per-year business from just under £3 billion today.

Still, the weak numbers pile on pressure for the latest round of leaders charged with delivering Burberry’s long-awaited turnaround. Burberry shares have tumbled 54 percent year-on-year, so the clock is ticking for Akeroyd and Lee to prove that their more textured, fashion-forward approach to the brand can gain commercial traction. Burberry has no controlling shareholder and is governed by board-sitters in the City eager to see a return.

Burberry expects the first half of this year to remain challenging, followed by an improvement in the second half. A autumn collection focused on revitalising Burberry’s core outerwear category could help, as will increased marketing investments in the key Chinese and US markets, where slowing sales to aspirational clients have hurt business.

Sales to Chinese clients both domestically and abroad were down 12 percent in the first three months of the year, Akeroyd said.

Learn more:

Inside Burberry’s Growth Strategy

In an interview with BoF the day of his first major speech to investors, Burberry’s new CEO Jonathan Akeroyd outlined his plan for growing the British house into a £5 billion megabrand alongside designer Daniel Lee.

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