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Big Plans for Burberry

Burberry is poised to ramp up its retail presence in the U.S., boost its accessories business and leverage its brand name worldwide.

Another priority is for Burberry to speak, internally and externally, with one voice.

Retail store managers soon will begin tours of duty in different countries so they can learn about various markets; the design and merchandising teams have begun to meet weekly here to discuss the minutiae of collections; Bailey will be talking regularly to salespeople worldwide, and the company will work to create more synergies among the three apparel collections — Prorsum, London and Thomas Burberry — and the nonapparel offer.

In other news, the company will launch the men's version of the Burberry London fragrance next month. Ioan Gruffudd, star of the British TV series "Hornblower," will appear in the campaign.

The company also will be the sole sponsor of the upcoming David Hockney exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery, which opens in October. Bailey, a huge fan of Hockney's work, said the sponsorship would be yet another event marking Burberry's 150th anniversary.

Other aspects of the anniversary celebration include an "icons" collection of branded accessories, inspired by the archives, and Burberry's hosting of the "AngloMania" event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ahrendts said she's been enjoying London. "I'm from Indianapolis, Ind., and I never thought I'd be here! It feels exotic," she said. She added that she took the job for a variety of reasons, one of which was Bailey.

"I love him as a person. There's a natural trust and respect there, and I know we'll be writing the Burberry chapters together," said Ahrendts. "In fact, the whole team that Rose Marie [Bravo] built felt right, as well. I feel we have a platform in place to really grow."

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