Burberry burns burns bags, clothes and perfume worth millions 'to protect its brand'

Jul 19, 2018 47 views

Luxury British fashion house Burberry destroyed tens of millions of dollars worth of its fashion and cosmetic products over the past year to protect its brand. It takes the total value of goods it has destroyed over the past five years to more than £90m.

Destroying products has become common practice for the industry, with retailers describing it as a measure to protect intellectual property and prevent illegal counterfeiting by ensuring the supply chain remains intact.

A Burberry spokesman said: “Burberry has careful processes in place to minimise the amount of excess stock we produce. On the occasions when disposal of products is necessary, we do so in a responsible manner and we continue to seek ways to reduce and revalue our waste.”

Over the past few years, Burberry has been working hard to make its brand exclusive again after it went through a phase when counterfeiters were "sticking the Burberry check on anything they could", said Maria Malone, principal lecturer on the fashion business at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Destroying unwanted products is part of that process, she said.

Burberry’s clothing is priced at the high end of fashion retail, with men’s polo shirts selling for as much as £250 and its famous trench coats costing around £1,500.

The group has said it takes its environmental obligations seriously, and recently joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative to prevent waste in the industry.

Burberry announced last week that its sales grew by 3% in the 13 weeks to June 30, up from £478 million to £479 million.

But the fashion house warned that sales in the UK and Europe had been knocked due to weaker tourist demand, but that Chinese tourists had lifted sales in Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.