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CHURCH APPROACHES BURBERRY: Burberry has been approached by the Church of England, which owns a 2.5 million pound, or $4.9 million, stake in the company, to defend the reasoning behind the proposed closure of the firm’s polo shirt factory in Wales. The Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group, which advises on all Church of England investments, wrote to the fashion brand before the holidays requesting an explanation for the closure. “The group wrote to the chief executive of Burberry to get their side of the story,” said a spokesman for the Church of England. “We are not talking about disinvestment: we are simply asking for information. Our approach is always to seek engagement with companies.” The factory employs some 300 workers and has been in operation since 1939. Burberry has said in the past that the factory is no longer commercially viable. A Burberry spokesman declined to comment.

This story first appeared in the December 29, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.