Waste not, want not.
That’s a maxim many of you grew up with, especially if your parents ragged on at you to wear the clothes they bought you, which they then threatened to give way to the less fortunate if you didn’t.
You might think a fashion giant like Burberry would take this phrase into consideration, but that’s gonna have to be a no.
Burberry is raising eyebrows for destroying millions of dollars’ worth of clothing and perfume.
The British firm’s annual report stated that it destroyed £28,6 million [over R500 million] of goods for the year ended March 31, 2018, an increase on the £26,9 million [over R470 million] in its 2017 financial year.
“The cost of finished goods physically destroyed in the year was £28,6 million … including £10,4 million [R183 million] of destruction for beauty inventory,” the company’s annual report stated.
Naturally, investors were scratching their heads over this shocking move at an annual meeting, with some of them wondering why shareholders weren’t offered the chance to buy unsold items for themselves.
However, for Burberry and other retailers, destroying their own stock is not unusual in the least:
Some commentators argue that destroying goods in certain sectors provides protection for brands because companies have more control over how they are distributed and marketed.
The Guardian adds:
Retailers say the measure is needed to protect intellectual property and prevent illegal counterfeiting by ensuring the supply chain remains intact.
Burberry said it only destroyed items that carried its trademark and only worked with specialist companies able to harness the energy from the process in order to make it environmentally friendly.
Still, destroying high-priced products that thousands of people had a hand in producing, all for the sake of protecting your brand?
Practically, not everyone’s going to like it.
Burberry has released a statement in response to those freaking out about their stock purge:
Burberry has careful processes in place to minimise the amount of excess stock we produce. On the occasions when disposal of products is necessary, we do so in a responsible manner and we continue to seek ways to reduce and revalue our waste.
Maybe they should also take into consideration that whole “let the shareholders buy some items as well” idea.
Is it also too wild for them to perhaps sell the stock off at cheaper prices? Recycle them properly? Give it away to those in need?
Just my two cents’ worth for the day, so do with that what you will.
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