IN BRIEF

BURBERRY DETAILS: Burberry’s initial public offering, scheduled to take place by June, is on track, and details of the flotation are expected to be announced next month, sources in London said. The firm is expected to make its announcement on May 29, when it releases its preliminary financial results for 2001. As reported, Burberry’s parent, GUS, plans to float up to 25 percent of the company. A Burberry spokeswoman declined to comment on the date of the announcement.

A LIBERTY TAKER? Could the owners of London’s Fortnum & Mason be eyeing Liberty? As reported last month, the property group that owns Liberty plans to sell its assets over the next four years in order to pay off debts incurred from recent acquisitions. According to a report in London’s Sunday Telegraph, the Weston family, which owns the high-end food emporium Fortnum & Mason, is already eyeing Liberty, and is preparing a bid through one of its private investment companies. Sources have said Liberty could fetch up to $115 million. Spokesmen for all parties declined to comment.

H&M ON THE MARCH: Swedish women’s and men’s fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz on Monday said group sales increased 16 percent in March compared with the same period last year. H&M sales rose 27 percent in March 2001. The March 2002 figure matches H&M’s February 2002 increase. The firm doesn’t break down sales on a same-store basis.

TAX RELIEF: Swatch tried to take some of the pain out of tax day Monday, as it handed out 300 Tax Day Survival Kits at the Post Office on 8th Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets. Packed in white frosted bags with a Swatch watch on the strap, the kits included, for those who might not be so well prepared, a 34-cent stamp to send off the tax returns, a Swatch calculator to figure out how much is due, a Swatch pen to sign the return, a massager, and a logo T-shirt saying “I Survived Tax Day 2002.” No word on whether this marketing gimmick was tax-deductible.

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