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Burberry sales slump 50 per cent in wake of coronavirus

Burberry sales have declined by between 40 per cent and 50 per cent during the last six weeks as the coronavirus crisis takes its toll on retail. 

And in a statement released to the market, the company says it expects the figures to get even worse in future, falling by up to 80 per cent. 

“Since our February update, the material negative effect of COVID-19 on luxury demand has intensified and is now impacting the industry in all regions,” said Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti. “Our primary concern is the global health emergency and we continue to take every precaution to help prevent the spread of the virus and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees, partners and customers. We are implementing mitigating actions to contain our costs and protect our financial position, underpinned by our strong balance sheet,” he said.

“We remain confident in our strategy and the strength of our brand and I am exceptionally proud of our teams’ resilience and commitment.”

The decline in Burberry sales in January was largely restricted to Asian markets, but since then, business in Mainland China has started to improve with most of the brand’s stores reopened, while sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEIA) have fallen materially. 

More than 60 per cent of Burberry’s stores in EMEIA and 85 per cent of stores in the Americas are currently closed.

The firm now anticipates its fourth-quarter retail-store sales to be down by roughly 30 per cent year on year.

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