SAN FRANCISCO — With flagship openings here and in Rome within a week, Burberry continues to show the sun still has plenty of room to shine on its British luxury goods empire.
A second door in Italy opened on Rome’s swanky Via dei Condotti near the Spanish Steps on Oct. 14. Only a week later, the renovated and expanded flagship here, steps from Union Square, bowed with much fanfare, including a visit from company chief executive Rose Marie Bravo.
“Having lived here for those five years [during her ceo days at I. Magnin], I wanted to do something special for the city,” said Bravo, referring as much to the evening’s two parties as the decision to make San Francisco the only U.S. store based on the minimalist aesthetic of the Milan flagship, opened a year ago. The store in Rome also is modeled along the same vein.
And the Burberry juggernaut is far from slowing. Next month a unit opens in Boca Raton, Fla., bringing the U.S. store count to 32. So, too, are renovated shops in Dallas and Paris. With these latest doors, there are 90 Burberry stores in 24 countries.
As recently reported, Burberry’s retail sales in the first half rose 4 percent to $200 million from $192.6 million a year ago and account for 32 percent of the company’s total revenue. New stores are contributing to the rise. North America saw 15 percent growth in sales in the half, followed by Europe with 7 percent. Asia Pacific leads as the best-performing region with a 29 percent increase.
“There are a lot more stores to come,” noted Burberry USA president Eugenia Ulasewicz as she led a tour through the five-story building here, still filled with a small army of builders, cleaners and event staff just 90 minutes before the party. “In the U.S., our strategy has been remodel and renovation — Boston, Washington D.C., Denver and Ala Moana on Oahu, Hawaii, will be ready by next August or sooner.”
For Bravo, the decision to go more Milan in San Francisco than London’s Bond Street, the signature look of the majority of stores worldwide, was a love note to her former home. “We really did a melding of what is the best of Milan with some of the best of Bond Street,” she said, pointing out the inherent classical revival architecture of the space, as well as the generous use of dark woods. “But we decided San Francisco is such a sophisticated, elegant city, the Milan model was suited for this city.”
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)