Burberry to retail runway collections immediately

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British luxury fashion brand Burberry said on Friday it would merge its four annual catwalk shows into two and make its runway collections available to shoppers immediately.

Burberry has been announcing small changes to its business, including combining its Prorsum, London and Brit lines under the Burberry label, amid concerns that the business environment for luxury goods is becoming more challenging.

But Friday's move will make Burberry one of the first global fashion houses to move away from the traditional calendar in which brands present their spring/summer and autumn/winter collections months before the clothes reach the shop floor.

The firm, famous for its trench coats and cashmere scarves, said that, starting this month, its fashion shows in February and September would now feature both menswear and womenswear that would be available in-store and online straight afterwards.

It said the move was part of a wider plan to present seasonless clothing that caters to a global audience.

"Our shows have been evolving to close this gap (from runway to store) for some time. From livestreams, to ordering straight from the runway to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve," Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bailey said in a statement.