Burberry is getting serious about its children’s wear.
This story first appeared in the September 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The London-based luxury firm plans to grow its retail presence this year with the opening of its first freestanding children’s apparel stores in the U.S. The initial location, scheduled to open Nov. 7, will be in The Westchester mall in White Plains, N.Y. Burberry Group plc already operates an adult store in The Westchester that carries a small selection of children’s wear, but after gathering feedback from customers, Eugenia Ulasewicz, president of Burberry USA, said it was time to take it a step further.
“We already have an established luxury business at The Westchester and since it’s close to the city, we can easily monitor how the new store does,” Ulasewicz said. “Customers are asking for miniversions of what we had on the runway, so with a separate children’s store, we can have all it, the full collection.”
Because the company wanted to make sure it was represented on the East and West Coasts, Ulasewicz said they also plan to open a second U.S. children’s store on Nov. 14 at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Both locations will carry the same new Burberry design concept, developed by the brand’s creative director, Christopher Bailey. The color palette will be signature to the brand, with tan “trench” lacquer and polished black chrome fixtures and dark wood floors. The white walls will serve as a clean backdrop for the signature tiny trenches, sportswear and infant and baby gift items, ranging in price from $90 to $445.
The Westchester store will be 2,656 square feet, slightly larger than the Palo Alto store, which will be 2,487 square feet. Burberry declined to reveal volume projections for the stores.
“We have a long list of places we would love to open more stores, like in Los Angeles and in New York, but we aren’t going to rush into it,” Ulasewicz said. “We are planning to monitor sales daily and then take it from there.”
In addition to carrying some children’s product in the adult Burberry stores, the company also wholesales its children’s product to select retailers in the U.S., including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Internationally, Burberry opened its first children’s store in the Lee Gardens section of Hong Kong in March. That store, which is only 700 square feet, has been performing well, Ulasewicz said.