TOKYO/LONDON: Burberry, the British luxury brand, has announced plans to quadruple its annual sales in Japan by 2017 and to double the number of shops it operates in the world's second-largest market for luxury goods.
Speaking as he unveiled an 8% rise in pre-tax profits to £461m, Christopher Bailey, Burberry's new CEO and chief creative officer, said the company intends to "unlock" Japan while bringing its operations in-house next year, Retail Week reported.
"As we enter a new chapter, our teams are united and energised by the opportunities ahead – from unlocking Japan, to accelerating beauty and further integrating the physical and digital to deliver distinctive experiences," he said.
With four stores and ten concessions in Japan, Burberry currently generates revenues of roughly £25m but now aims to increase its earnings to £100m by 2017.
It plans to achieve this by expanding its own store network while increasing online sales and has identified new stores for Osaka and three districts in Tokyo.
The company's licence with Japanese brand Sanyo Shokai expires in June 2015 and Burberry wants to take greater control over its operations and image, the Financial Times reported, in much the same way as it did with its Chinese operations in 2010.
The development comes as a recent report from Bain & Co forecast that Japan will be the main driver of growth for worldwide sales of luxury goods this year.
It expected luxury sales in Japan would increase 9-11% this year, as both Japanese shoppers and Chinese tourists take advantage of the weaker yen, compared to a lower global growth rate of between 4% and 6% in 2014.
Data sourced from Retail Week, Financial Times, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff