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Burberry to sell catwalk collections straightaway to capitalise on digital buzz

Burberry is set to totally restructure its runway and retail calendar as looks to convert the social media buzz it builds around its catwalk in to instant sales.

From September the luxury fashion brand will replace its current four show calendar with two shows in September and February when both men’s and women’s collections will be available to purchase in-store and online immediately after they've ended. Burberry said the move “significantly shortens” the traditional gap between the runway show and retail availability.

The decision makes good business sense given that the old model of a six month lag between show and shop availability doesn’t work in the Snapchat and social era.

Burberry has already made moves to better connect its customers such as live streaming shows, ordering from the runway and live social media campaigns and this move will now allow it to push its main advertising campaigns in digital and print media immediately after the collections have been presented on the runway.

Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey said: “The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves. Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From livestreams, to ordering straight from the runway to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve.”

As part of the new calendar, all store windows and point of sale material will also display the new collections immediately following the shows.

Burberry’s move apes that of fellow fashion house Matthew Williamson which last year introduced six collections per year, all of which are ready to buy immediately after the show. It also closed its flagship store in London to focus on its e-commerce business.