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Why did Burberry destroy £28m of luxury goods?

  • Published at 09:23 am July 26th, 2018
Burberry Outlook
Burberry Outlook | Reuters

Other luxury labels like Richemont has destroyed £421m in luxury Cartier and Piaget watches

British luxury brand Burberry destroyed over £28.6m worth fashion products, including £10.4m of cosmetics, to the shock of enthusiasts worldwide.

The wanton destruction was an effort to minimize the quantity of stock surplus produced.

It is a common practice in retailer marketplace to protect brands from counterfeiters. In other words, it allows brands to prevent their products being sold cheaply on the grey market.

According to Burberry’s recent annual report, more than £90m products have been destroyed over the past five years.

A Burberry spokesperson informed The Guardian: “Burberry has careful processes in place to minimize 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.”

According to Marketing Week, the value of surplus stock sent to be burned increased approximately from £18.8m in 2016 to £26.9m last year.

Burberry used to have an image for selling their products to the wrong crowd known as “brand immigrants” which decreased their sales rate among the “brand citizens”. By 2006, they started focusing on their signature clothing lines that were in the market right after being showcased.

The “see now, buy now” models would be displayed for a while and then be destroyed for stock clearance.

Although environmentalists and social media sites are criticizing Burberry for their “luxurious disposal”, H&M burns 12 tons of clothing per year, and Richemont destroyed £421m in luxury watches over the past few years.