If you were to journey back to 1997, Burberry was a brand that seemingly could do no right. The luxury fashion retailer was so out of fashion that you couldn’t even find their products on store shelves. After years of struggle, Rose Marie Bravo stepped in and said that she was going to restore the brands pride. Her first major move (of many) was to bring in Christopher Bailey, who shocked life into the brands image through new age twists on classic designs. Fast forward to 2006 and sales and profits had gone through the roof, with Burberry shares doing exactly the same. But all was not as expected moving forward from that point and it was clear that there were bumps in the road awaiting the company.
Angela Ahrendts took over when Burberry shares were at a sky high in price in 2006 and many thought the company could only be on the up. Problem is that the tartan trademark was becoming “copied” all around the world, with the famous “Burberry Check” being brought under question, worrying those who had Burberry shares. Ahrendts made the decision to sell the franchise licenses and control of the brand for £20 million. This mean that Christopher Bailey would grow out of his designer position to have increased control within the company. He would be responsible for store designs, Internet marketing, and celebrity endorsements, pushing Burberry back into an upmarket brand position. Ahrendts would eventually resign from the company altogether in 2013, even though her power had been diminished for some time prior to that, saying that “Burberry is in brilliant shape”.
The problem is that with success comes envy and Christopher Bailey’s efforts had made many other fashion brands sit up and take notice. The fact was that Bailey had become an expensive yet invaluable commodity to the brand rivals would have paid anything to snag him. His pay crept up year on year, but in the end Burberry made the smart move and gave him a two part pay deal (base and target totalling £10.3 million per annum) in a move that will only be music to the ears of Burberry shares buyers. Having Christopher Bailey on-board signifies that the company means serious business moving forward. Another reason why Burberry and Burberry shares have seen a return to prominence is the fact that they have embraced business outside of the UK. The majority of the company’s sales now take place outside of the UK and that has had a great impact on the British economy too.
If you think of British fashion houses, you know almost immediately think of Burberry. After a tough time in the 1990s, Burberry was on the rocks. Yet by taking a risk and putting some of fashion’s most creative minds behind the wheel, Burberry and Burberry shares rose through the ranks once again. In 2015 one thing is for sure, Burberry has reclaimed the British fashion crown.
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Alexander Bowring is a London based writer and a Southampton Solent University Screenwriting graduate. He has worked alongside TV personality and Telegraph feature writer Alison Cork, whilst also having produced content for ITV, This Morning, Canvas8, Who’s Jack, Alison at Home, and Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors. Alexander also has a keen interest in investments.