It was a case of sink or swim, and the Burberry braved the waves in style.
The company stuck stubbornly to its plan to go public last summer, despite turbulent market conditions, frozen IPO plans in the luxury goods sector, and a cloudy outlook for the industry.
Burberry, which has been completely overhauled by chief executive Rose Marie Bravo and her team during the last three years, made a solid debut on the London Stock Exchange during one of the most volatile sessions of the year with the FTSE 100 index slumping 8.5 percent and the luxury share price average down 8 percent. Bravo herself benefited from the Burberry turnaround, being granted a package of stock options and salary that could be worth up to $20 million during the next three years by the company’s parent Great Universal Stores plc.
On its first day of trading — July 12 —the share price closed down 2 percent at $3.38, and analysts praised the company’s courage in taking the market plunge.
"It was a huge achievement for Burberry to make a placement in today’s market, and their decision to go ahead with the flotation can only enhance their image. They will benefit in the long term from this move," said Sagra Maciera de Rosen, luxury goods analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase.
Burberry also managed to post double-digit sales growth and profits in the first half, thanks mainly to a growing women’s apparel line and accessories. In the period ending Sept. 30, sales rose 15 percent to $432.4 million while profit after taxation — and not including exceptional costs — was $52.6 million, a 34 percent rise over the corresponding period last year.
During the period, Burberry hosted a string of openings from Barcelona to New York, bringing the number of retail stores to 45.
"The main reason Burberry is bucking the trend is that it’s in the midst of a repositioning," said Claire Kent, luxury goods analyst at Morgan Stanley. "Innovation, new products, store openings and refurbishments are all having a positive impact on sales. If you look at some of the other luxury goods brands, the repositioning is already behind them."Kent said she believes that at the time of Burberry’s IPO, some investors didn’t agree with her team that Burberry is a luxury brand. Gradually, there has been some conversion, but the stock has not yet reached her price target of $4.46. On Friday, Burberry closed at $3.64, down 1.5 percent.
Despite the uncertain climate for luxury goods and the future challenges facing Burberry, Bravo remains upbeat. "Every part of the business world has been living with uncertainty since 9/11. It’s the current business condition," she said on the eve of the Knightsbridge store opening, Burberry’s second flagship in London. "But customers are still interested in buying: People will always give gifts, and there will always be a Christmas. We just have to face the fact that we’re living in different times."
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
Discovery is collaborating with British pop artist @philipcolbert on a new line of clothing and accessories called Discovery Shark. The collection, which will launch next summer for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, features a whimsical line of women’s and men’s bomber jackets, sweatshirts, bags and more. #wwdfashion
“I’m always a big champion of a female rapper, and I’m glad to see a new voice that feels unique and authentic that’s coming up, and I think we’re going to see more great things from her,” said @itsjeremyscott about @iamcardib, who performed at @moschino’s Art Basel Miami Beach party last night. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@janellemonae’s “What’s Your Frequency?” room in @refinery29's #29Rooms made its debut this week at the opening of the Los Angeles art exhibit. “It’s about the ongoing conversation around mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity. My space was created so that we can come together and talk about the complexities of our humanity,” said Monáe. #wwdeye (📷: @bucknerphoto)
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)