Wholesale sales of Riccardo Tisci’s first collection are “soaring,” according to Bloomberg, “giving the British luxury-goods maker a boost before [its new creative director’s] creations are even available in stores.” Tisci’s debut offerings, which hit the runway in London in September, have led the sales of Burberry’s products to retailers to double compared to this time last year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Chief Financial Officer Julie Brown stated on Thursday. The announcement comes as the British stalwart brand revealed its first half financials.
Burberry reported revenue of 1.22 billion pounds ($1.60 billion) for the 26 weeks of the year to September 29, down 3 percent but still ahead of analysts’ forecasts. “We made good progress in the half as we began to transform and reposition Burberry, while maintaining our focus on financial and operational discipline,” the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.
Initial demand for Tisci’s Burberry is a positive sign, but CEO Marco Gobbetti cautioned on Thursday, saying that the brand’s larger revamp will take time and fanfare is not likely to reflect on the bottom line for at least a year, since the complete lineup of Tisci-designed products will not hit shelves for months. “While the early signs are encouraging, transitioning the product offer, evolving our distribution, changing wider consumer perception and seeing this translate into positive business performance will take time,” Gobbetti said.
In addition to put former Givenchy creative Tisci at the helm, Burberry – under the director of former Celine CEO Gobbetti, who succeeded Burberry’s former CEO and longtime chief creative Christopher Bailey early last year – is in the midst of a large-scale turnaround plan, which will see it revamp stores, scale back its outlet presence, and more tightly control its distribution by way of department stores.
“We need to sustain and expand our heat,” Gobbetti said. “It takes time to really change consumers’ perception of a brand.” Change is certainly underway, though.