BURBERRY’S RISING SUN: Burberry is breaking new ground on the beauty front in Japan. The Tokyo-based Shiseido will start distributing Burberry’s fragrances there within a year, according to Shotaro Nagai, a spokesman for the Japanese company. A source said Burberry is in advanced talks with Shiseido about a deal that also could encompass the brand’s skin care and makeup. Nagai declined to comment on the speculation, as did Burberry.
Shiseido’s subsidiary Beauté Prestige International already works closely with Burberry on fragrances, distributing them in markets such as France, Spain and the U.S. Earlier this year, WWD said the company was a likely partner for Burberry’s planned skin-care line.
Last year, Burberry’s chief operating officer John Smith said, “We are talking to a range of possible partners about a range of possible relationships,” with regard to skin care. WWD has learned Burberry is mulling a larger-scale, strategic partnership with an outside company to build its beauty business — possibly including fragrance — which it runs in-house, after having terminated its perfume license with Inter Parfums in 2013.
Burberry has big dreams for its new beauty division: Wholesale revenue is expected to grow by about 25 percent at constant exchange rates this year, and it has been auditioning potential skin-care partners, including The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.
Historically, it’s been very hard for fashion brands to prove their legitimacy in skin care and break successfully into the segment. Prada and Calvin Klein are among those to have discontinued their treatment offerings. Fragrance is traditionally the most fruitful beauty category for fashion brands, followed by color cosmetics.