Burberry unveils plans for homewares range

Luxury retailer Burberry is to stretch its signature brand across a new homewares range as it aims for a more balanced product portfolio.

Group finance director Mike Metcalf said a new homewares offer, which may include boxes, crockery and glassware, is being developed at the UK headquarters.

Burberry's enlarged accessories range has been a key sales driver for the retailer and, with handbags and luggage added to the mix, now accounts for 29 per cent of sales.

'We see further opportunities to extend across a range of items,' said Metcalf. 'We are developing them (homewares) in-house and seeing how they perform in our stores. They are not ready for roll-out - we will be quite careful and make sure they are right before we roll.'

Last week, Burberry revealed a pre-tax profit of£85.1 million for the year to March 31, up from£84.8 million in 2002. Sales grew 19 per cent to£593.6 million.

However, the results were coloured by the bad start to the new financial year. March sales were hit by Sars, war in Iraq and the terrorism threat.

Metcalf said Burberry was still under-represented compared with other luxury industry players and will look to the USA and Asia for growth.

Burberry will also explore the market segmentation opportunity afforded by youth brand Thomas Burberry. It will be relaunched this autumn after a two-year absence.