Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Burn Burberry Burn

In 2017, Burberry Group PLC burned over $37 million worth of unsold clothes, perfumes, bags, and other goods. 

And over the past five years, they've reportedly incinerated over $117 million worth. 

"The reason they are doing this is so that the market is not flooded with discounts", Maria Malone, a fashion business professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, told the BBC. 

"They don't want Burberry products to get into the hands of anyone who can sell them at a discount and devalue the brand". 

A clear business rationale but unfortunately, it is still very wrong. In fact, they’re sending the wrong message to society at large. 

Lu Yen Roloff of Greenpeace says “Burberry shows no respect for their own products and the hard work and natural resources that are used to make them". 

Of course, the British label is promoting wastage. And it is also socially and environmentally irresponsible. 

Actually, Burberry is not the only guilty party. 

In fact, luxury retailers are believed to destroy surplus products to protect their intellectual property and brand value.

In other words, they do this to prevent their wares from being sold cheaply on the counterfeit market or ending up on the grey market with unofficial but legal retailers who fall outside a brand’s approved distribution channels. 

For sure, Burberry and the other luxury labels have a warped understanding of brand value because it is not just about exclusivity – but about doing what is right. 

Did Burberry, for example, even consider donating leftovers to homeless shelters and other charitable organizations? 

And if it is so worried about protecting its brand – it could have de-branded the said items. Just snip away the labels. Then anonymously give them away.

The good deed will earn it good PR and this, in turn, can only benefit the brand. 

In Burberry’s case, in a bid to avoid tarnishing the brand, Burberry ends up tarnishing the brand. It's so myopic.

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