Burberry torches £28.6m worth of unsold inventory to keep prices high

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/19/environmentally-friendly.html


Christ what a late stage capitalist company!!

And (a) haven’t they heard of just-in-time manufacturing and (b) why haven’t they sacked their marketing/financial forecasting execs - clearly they are doing an utterly shit job.


This time the furnace people offered the best return in investment. The free market works


AFAIK, this repugnant practice is a common thing amongst ‘high end’ designer brands; I read about Louis Vitton doing the same thing a few years back.

Heaven forbid that unsold luxury goods end up in the hands of the unwashed masses.


I would say because their margins are so insane that they can afford to burn money, but… honestly, they don’t look to be doing so much revenue that that is the case.


Rather than take the signalling from the market that no one wants to buy their crap, they just keep making it and then burning it at the end of their fiscal year.

The good news is the company should be going down in flames if they do this for a couple more years.


No, the set fire to gear with a possible retail value of £28.6m. The actual value would be much lower than that. Even the retail value is questionable since the entire idea is predicated on the value being lowered if the goods continue to exist.


I’m wondering, is that value based on what they sell it for? Or what the materials are worth?

I have a charcoal briquette that I’m willing to sell for $1 billion, but it’s totally not really worth that amount.

Don’t get me wrong, what they are doing is pretty much bullshit, but it is their product and if they want to set fire to it, they have that right.

Hopefully this practice leads to them having more and more unsold product that they will be able to harvest the energy of in coming years until they are no longer a thing.


This is not necessarily a new idea.


£28.6m worth…

Thrift store value or retail?

Squeeze real hard. Diamond!


As a pile of waste ash it’s worth nothing.

But I guess that was the point all along.

Headline should read: “Burberry burns their worthless crap.”




“The works of the roots of the vines, of the trees, must be destroyed to keep up the price, and this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all. Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people came for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges at twenty cents a dozen if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. A million people hungry, needing the fruit- and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains. And the smell of rot fills the country. Burn coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm, it makes a hot fire. Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drip down into the earth.

"There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificate- died of malnutrition- because the food must rot, must be forced to rot. The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quick-lime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”

– John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


Well that’s it, I’m never buying that crap again.


There are a variety of ways of recycling clothing and textiles that would seem to support Burberry’s stated goals just fine.


Makes me wonder too if this is advantageous because of a tax loophole. They get a bigger break from the destroyed merchandise than what they paid to make it, possibly.


Exactly this. Donating said clothing would be such a bad look and waste of materials. Heaven forbid.


Because when your product has almost zero intrinsic value you would rather produce 10 extra than risk having 1 person not buy one because it wasn’t in stock. They can predict expected demand all they want, but the incentive is to overproduce to satisfy the best case uncertainty.

A large fraction of the product they destroyed was actually perfume. While fabric and 3rd world textile workers are cheap, it is nothing like perfume which in most cases has essentially zero production cost.

So this is stupid and wasteful, but the numbers are made up.


No, that isn’t the way taxes work.

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