What’s the Latest Development?

Burberry, the British fashion house, is best known for the trench coats it has produced since 1856. But more recently, the brand is becoming known for its investment in technology. Earlier this month, their Spring 2013 runway show from London Fashion Week “was streamed live to Burberry stores and suburban laptops.” In their boutiques, clothing has been fitted with RFID tags so that “customers can flash clothes in front of interactive screens to see how a handbag detail or raincoat lining is made.” Angela Ahrend, Burberry’s CEO, has been attempting to incorporate technology into the brand since 2006. 

What’s the Big Idea?

While Burberry has tried to remain at the forefront of fashion and technology, it hasn’t necessarily resulted in greater sales. “Burberry’s share price slumped by 18% after the company warned that profits would be at the low end of expectations. It is likely to make around £400m ($650m) for 2012-13, a modest rise from last year’s £376m.” Burberry’s most recent venture, called “Customer 360,” looks to track all of a customer’s buying habits so that sales associates can better recommend other products to buy. Whether all this pays off is to be foreseen but Ahrend will continue using the latest technology. “I’ve seen what has happened to brands like Kodak that did not keep up with digital change,” she says. “That’s a lesson in what to avoid.”

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