From the editor: Digital luxury
The tale of Burberry's turnaround made news again with the announcement that its CEO, Angela Ahrendts, was leaving to take up a senior retail role at Apple. Analysts reacted negatively – £500 million was wiped off the fashion brand's FTSE-100 value.
This downgrading of Burberry's future signals fears that the brand may struggle to continue its remarkable growth story post-Ahrendts. At the end of fiscal 2012, Burberry's revenues and operating income had doubled over the previous five years, to $3 billion and $600 million, respectively.
The company's fortunes were rather less promising seven years ago, when the Midwest American Ahrendts took up the reins at the 156-year old iconic British label. Famous for its trench coats that were worn by British troops in the First World War, it had become infamous for its beige tartan baseball caps sported back to front by gangsta rappers and soccer hooligans. Whether by accident or design, the luxury brand had become tarnished, many believed beyond repair. It may have become widely 'accessible' but it seemed its future was 'street' not 'designer'.