Luxury brand Burberry has snapped up a series of high-profile London leases that will see it create a “Burberry super flagship” department store format to showcase its entire product offer.
Burberry is understood to have acquired the lease for the LK Bennett shop on London’s Regent Street, which is next door to the Habitat store the company bought a couple of months ago. It is expected to knock the two units into one, which in current configuration would realise a trading space of about 24,000 sq ft. Burberry currently occupies 157-167 Regent Street but plans to exit this site.
Burberry has also bought the lease for premium retailer Jaeger’s store on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, which is next to Burberry’s existing store in the street. Jaeger has already moved out of the premises and hoardings have been erected around the site.
The high-profile store signings are thought to be part of a major brand-building exercise developed by chief executive Angela Ahrendts. Sources told Drapers that Ahrendts was keen to celebrate Burberry’s British heritage with a major “flag in the ground” retail statement in its home market, much as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger have in Madison Avenue in New York. The stores are expected to carry every Burberry collection from Burberry Brit through to its bespoke offering.
Ahrendts already made a significant statement when she pulled the brand off the high-profile Milan Fashion Week schedule in 2009 and brought the Burberry Prorsum catwalk collection back to the then far less ‘fashionable’ London Fashion Week. Her decision to defect was said to be largely because she felt a British brand should show, support and celebrate its heritage on home soil.