Burberry Trench Coats

LONDON — In its quest to slim down, save money and boost efficiency, Burberry Group is set to move 300 back office roles to a new facility in Leeds in Yorkshire, England.

The new Business Services center will bring together U.K. and EMEIA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) shared services teams from finance, human resources and procurement, as well as some customer service and IT roles, the company said Thursday.

Yorkshire is also the center of Burberry’s trenchcoat manufacturing and the site of a planned, state-of-the-art factory, also in Leeds.

The original plan was to open the new factory by 2018, although that deadline has been pushed back due to external factors such as luxury demand worldwide, and internal ones such as management changes.

The company said it would be “strengthening its ties with Yorkshire” with the creation of the new business center that’s set to open in October.

The proposal is in step with the company’s cost-savings program, announced last May, to deliver at least 100 million pounds, or $129 million, of annualized cost savings by fiscal 2019.

It also dismantles yet another project undertaken by former chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts, who moved Burberry’s staff 
from its Haymarket headquarters and various central London spaces, to Horseferry House in London’s Westminster.

“Creating a center of excellence will make Burberry more productive and efficient by simplifying processes and fostering teamwork across functions,” the company said in a statement.

“Moving roles to Leeds will also generate significant savings for the business by allowing Burberry to reduce its office space requirements in London, where the company will remain headquartered.”

Most of the 300 Burberry roles are now in London, although some are in locations outside the British capital.

Christopher Bailey, chief creative and ceo of Burberry Group, said the move was important as the company “continues to deliver on the strategic priorities we outlined last year.”

He said, in addition to the benefits it will bring to the business, “opening an office in Leeds reinforces our commitment to the U.K. and to Yorkshire, home of our iconic trench coat.”

The new weaving and manufacturing facility for the trench was set to open in 2018, and is meant to replace Burberry’s two current Yorkshire factories, which have reached maximum capacity for trench coat production.

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