Shoppers buck trend to buy Burberry

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2001, 12:00am

Shoppers defied the economic downturn and went on a buying frenzy when designer label Burberry launched a sale yesterday.

Thousands of customers swamped the invitation-only sale, where the British label sold trench coats, knitwear and handbags for up to 50 per cent off marked prices.

Bargains included knitwear for $500, $100 ties, and coats up to $2,500.

Some shoppers waited for more than an hour before the first customers left and the next batch was allowed into the 21st floor of the Sogo store in Causeway Bay, where they jostled just to get a glimpse of the bargains. Replenished stock disappeared as quickly as it arrived.

Customer Eddie Yan said the atmosphere was one of unexpected frenzy. He was carrying a large bag full of items for friends and family after queuing for an hour and spending almost three hours scouring the sales room.

Alya Gatti said she found the experience daunting. 'I am shopping for my husband because he loves Burberry.'

A Burberry spokeswoman said 80,000 invitations were sent to VIP customers for the customary pre-Christmas sale, which runs until Sunday. The response was 'better than we hoped under the economic circumstances,' she said.

'The turnout shows customers have faith in the market, despite the perceived downturn.'

Figures released by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority yesterday showed people were still shopping hard with credit cards.

Outstanding debt on cards was $56.51 billion at the end of the September quarter, up 3.6 per cent on the previous quarter and 20.5 per cent on the $46.90 billion of September last year.

The number of credit cards issued in Hong Kong was 8.4 million, up six per cent on the previous quarter and 26.1 per cent higher than the same month last year.


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