The Burberry Charm

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Despite the overwhelming presence of shoppers in London, no, retail is not thriving. Unless of course you're offering product at 70% off or you're Burberry and the Chinese, Russian, Indian and Turkish markets just can't get enough of you. Either way, London shoppers simply cannot be relied upon. But thanks to Burberry’s brilliant marketing, rebranding (its success story will be a case course at Harvard's Business School next year) and Christopher Bailey, the old British standard's opening brand new headquarters just yards from Westminster Abbey. A company spokesperson gave us a private tour of the 160,000 square feet design wonder. The dark, symmetrical space, designed by Bailey, holds over 800 employees and is polished off with black chrome, grey marble and glass block floor bridges among superb lighting. It is, of course, achingly hip and even the cafeteria felt more like the latest cafe for cool kids than a canteen. Though of course, when Bailey himself popped past to grab a cup of coffee, we lost all our own cool.

--CHARLEY B.