The recent spell of warm weather here in the UK isn’t just good news for our tans, the nation’s retailers are benefiting too. According to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) monthly monitor, retail sales grew last month at their fastest pace since March, and total sales were up 3.4% on this time last year. One retailer making hay while the sun shines is luxury British brand Burberry, which today has announced revenue growth of 24%.
The BRC said shoppers were drawn in to stores by the promise of early summer discounts, where they stocked up on DIY and outdoor leisure items – it is barbeque weather after all. And it’s no surprise that the World Cup meant more punters treated themselves to a new TV, so sales of electronics were up too. Clothing and footwear slowed a bit, but who needs new clobber when you have football, sunshine and beer?
Thankfully, this wasn’t a trend witnessed by luxury retailer Burberry, which managed to boost revenues to £282m in the three months to June. This growth was helped mainly by its success in the Asia-Pacific region, where sales were up 30% and America, with a sales increase of 26%. Revenues in Europe rose a more modest 20% – a sign perhaps that the appetite in Europe for the brand’s famous camel, red and black check pattern is waning…
Nonetheless, Burberry chief exec Angela Ahrendts must be pleased the company is looking more shipshape than it was 18 months ago. The British company underwent a dramatic restructuring at the beginning of last year and slashed 540 jobs – including nearly 300 in the UK.
Demand for its wares may be on the up again though – perhaps that ‘must-have’ £900 handbag is even more attractive now the advertising campaigns are fronted by trendy young celebs such as Harry Potter star Emma Watson. This has also helped it to become less associated with Burberry flat-cap-wearing football yobs and the like – which can only be a good thing for the image of the brand.
But all this shopping is thirsty – and hungry - work. Let’s just hope that punters don’t fancy chowing down on a Burger King after they’ve finished perusing the shops, as the Suffolk factory that produces all of its burgers sold in the UK has gone up in smoke after a massive fire broke out at the weekend. Flame-grilled Whopper, anyone?
In today's bulletin:
Real house price growth to take a decade?
Retail sales boosted by warm weather - and sun shines on Burberry
China strips imperialist Western oppressors of AAA credit rating
DIY apps: Google's secret weapon in the battle of the smartphones
Wanna start an F1 team? That'll be £16m to you, squire