Burberry to slash number of catwalk shows, speed up sales

LONDON – Luxury fashion retailer Burberry says it will combine its menswear and womenswear catwalk shows into a single presentation, and slash the amount of time it takes for customers to obtain items seen on the runway.

The move announced Friday cuts the number of shows from four to two and breaks with traditions in the industry. The items will be available both in store and online, underscoring the company’s commitment to the digital space.

“The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves,” said Christopher Bailey, the Burberry CEO and chief creative. “Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From livestreams, to ordering straight from the runway to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve.”

The company — known for its trench coats and checkered print — is trying to bolster its global reach. The changes, which will begin in September, will also allow Burberry to further highlight seasonless styles, a plus for global customers who may be experiencing a different season than the traditional fall or winter in London.

Like other luxury retailers, Burberry is trying to cope with economic volatility in China. Sales in Hong Kong have been under particular pressure.