October 15, 2018 / 5:02 PM / a month ago

Burberry joins luxury sector's race to refresh products monthly

PARIS (Reuters) - Britain’s Burberry (BRBY.L) said on Monday it would start releasing limited edition clothes and products every month, joining a growing number of rivals in the luxury sector trying to churn out collections more frequently to keep clients hooked.

The exterior of a Burberry store is seen in central London, Britain, November 3, 2017. Picture taken November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

High-end fashion labels are experimenting with ways to square the long production cycles often required to bring complex catwalk looks into stores, and the needs of clients increasingly used to finding what they want instantly online.

Burberry, which is hoping to revitalize its sales growth after hiring designer Riccardo Tisci, said in a statement that from October new items would be available on the seventeenth of every month, “as part of its plans to excite customers”.

The first release, which follows a similar one around Tisci’s debut runway show last month, will feature unisex white T-shirts and sweatshirts with the brand’s new monogram, available for 24 hours on a handful of social media channels like Instagram.

The method echoes the so-called product “drops” popularized by U.S.-based streetwear brand Supreme, which helped turn its hoodies into highly-coveted collector items, and which more than one luxury firm is now emulating as they chase a younger generation of shoppers.

Italian puffer jacket maker Moncler (MONC.MI) announced last year it was ditching the world of runways to focus on monthly launches in its own stores of coats designed in collaboration with a roster of trendy designers.

It still has a more permanent offering of jackets, but has said it wants to shift its entire production process to a monthly cycle.

Burberry will still produce regular summer and winter catwalk collections and other in-between ones.

The company, which is looking to reposition itself as a more upmarket brand, said in September that a plan to create more targeted collections would help it limit waste, after it came under fire for destroying almost $40 million in stock last year.

It has previously been one of the big advocates of a “see-now, buy-now” approach, which cuts out the six-month delay in delivering a runway collection to stores, but requires taking a punt in terms of forecasting what will do well off the catwalk.

It has since tweaked the format, delivering in recent shows only a selection of items that were immediately available.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Jan Harvey

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