We are committed to region, says Burberry as office opens
North hub will house 100 more staff than planned
LUXURY FASHION brand Burberry opened its new office in Leeds on Monday and re-iterated its commitment to Yorkshire with the news that the site at 6 Queen Street in the city centre will house over 400 staff, 100 more than was originally planned.
The firm said Burberry Business Services (BBS) will bring together staff from Burberry’s finance, HR, procurement, customer service and IT teams to simplify processes and teamwork across functions. It has taken over four floors in the building.
Burberry aims to have over 400 roles in the Leeds office by the end of 2018. A small number of these roles have moved from Horseferry House in London, whilst some will be completely new.
Burberry is now proposing to move a number of roles in its IT teams to Leeds and this is still under consultation. The teams have been notified and Burberry envisages these roles will move to Leeds in summer 2018, subject to consultation.
Earlier this year Burberry let an option lapse on the Grade I listed Temple Works building in Leeds’s South Bank. The firm said it still owns land in Leeds and reiterated that it is committed to Yorkshire.
The luxury fashion brand said it is considering whether to develop the 10 acres of land it owns next to the building or whether to maintain the sites it currently owns at Castleford and Cross Hills in Yorkshire. Another option would be to build a new greenfield site.
Julie Brown, CFO and COO at Burberry, said: “We are pleased to announce the opening of Burberry Business Services today in Leeds, deepening our ties with Yorkshire and reinforcing our commitment to the UK.
“Our choice of Leeds underlines our belief in the strong talent available in the North of England and we see it as an attractive destination for our business.” Burberry said that one of the considerations during the office location decision process was Yorkshire’s connection with universities and colleges. It said it needs a highly skilled workforce which it feels that Leeds offers, with opportunities for graduate roles and apprenticeships. It added that the historical connection with Burberry and its trench coat manufacturing in Yorkshire marries well with Leeds as a developing centre and a cultural hub.
It is now looking for talent in the region and sees the local universities and colleges as a very important talent pool in the future.
Burberry said that the decision to create a centre of excellence in Leeds will make it more productive and efficient by simplifying processes and fostering teamwork across functions.
It said connectivity between its London and Leeds bases will be of the utmost importance and its head office will remain in London. The firm already operates in a global environment and the firm said all teams will continue to work effectively in this proposed model.
Burberry said that as it already has two manufacturing sites in Yorkshire (at Castleford and Cross Hills) and a warehouse in Blyth, Northumberland, it makes sense for Burberry to have an office hub in the North of England.
In July Burberry unveiled rising first quarter sales, driven by strong performances in China and in the UK.
The company reported a 3 per cent increase in retail sales to £478m in the three months to June 30, while like-for-like sales rose 4 per cent in the first set of results under new chief executive Marco Gobbetti.
Revenue was helped by the UK, where the weaker pound lifted sales, although Burberry said it saw a “deceleration” of this trend towards the end of the quarter.
Mr Gobbetti said: “We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter, while mindful of the work still to do.
“This is a time of great change for Burberry and the wider luxury industry.”
HEADQUARTERS: Fashion group Burberry said it is on the lookout for talent in the region as it opened its new offices at 6 Queen Street in Leeds, inset.