Blog: Leonie BarrieBurberry being checked out

Leonie Barrie | 3 January 2007

It seems the high profile campaign to stop Burberry closing its factory in Wales has   caught the eye of a parliamentary committee which wants to quiz bosses at the fashion label about plans to move UK jobs overseas. Last month I concurred that the adverse publicity was making it more and more difficult for the company to abandon its British roots – exactly the effect the ‘Keep Burberry British’ campaign hoped to achieve – but I wonder if anyone had expected John Peace, Burberry’s chairman, and Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive, to be summoned before the House of Commons to justify their actions?

The two executives will be questioned as part of a parliamentary committee’s inquiry into globalisation, a move that will force Burberry to reveal figures showing whether the factory is profitable or not, as well as its redundancy proposals. Burberry maintains that its decision to shutter the plant with the loss of 300 jobs and relocate production to China came after a year-long review found that the site was no longer financially viable. The official company-union consultation on the closure is due to finish on Friday – but it’s more than certain that the furore surrounding its plans will be very much in evidence for some time yet.


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