Why is Burberry so expensive?

Burberry is one of the most iconic luxury fashion brands. It’s also one of the most recognizable, thanks to their trademark check that lines their esteemed trench coats.

Those of us looking to invest in one of the brand’s timeless products, known to last generations, are looking at a multi-thousand dollar transaction. The reason why Burberry’s items are so costly can be down to their quintessentially British heritage to the consistent delivery of high-quality products.

Burberry was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry. The brand initially sought to provide outerwear that would protect consumers from Britain’s notorious turbulent weather. The individuals behind the fashion brand have worked hard to create a well-respected name with substantial price tags to accompany it. 

Innovative and durable materials

There’s nothing worse than being out for a relaxing stroll, only to be met with unexpected rain, leaving your clothes saturated. Thomas Burberry understood that British weather can present blue skies at one moment and grey, thundery showers the next. 

At the time, most waterproof outerwear was uncomfortable and heavy. Burberry revolutionized outwear with the innovation of gabardine. Patented in 1888, this leading-edge fabric was breathable, waterproof, and hardwearing. The brand used gabardine for their trench coats and very truly mastered the concepts of style and substance. 

True to the brand’s British heritage, gabardine is manufactured in Castleford. The tightly woven cotton and silk fabric is still a staple component in their products today.    

A Burberry trench coat is truly an investment piece that will protect us from whatever the weather throws at us. The timeless design ensures that it’s an item you can wear year after year. This is something that consumers are willing to pay a sizable amount for. 

Royal Connections

Burberry became immediately popular with the elite, and now consumers buy into the brand as a symbol of their high status in society. Burberry is on the highly prestigious list of couture brands to receive a royal warrant. This is appointed to a select number of brands that provide goods to HM The Queen. The Queen isn’t the only royal that revels in the brand’s British aesthetic. Kate Middleton is known for sporting a number of Burberry items over the years and most recently, Princess Beatrice modeled the classic cashmere trench coat that retails for $3,250.

Luxury brands know that their affiliation to monarchical individuals encourages royal enthusiasts to follow suit across the globe. Most brands see monumental spikes in sales after a royal is photographed in their garments. This is a key reason why Burberry continues to uphold their services to the royal family, knowing that they can capitalize on their popularity.

Return on investment

Playing the stock market can be advantageous, especially when it comes to Burberry products. Whether you’re thinking of renting out your Burberry purchase or selling out completely, a lot of Burberry’s staple products appreciate in value over time. 

If you own a Burberry bag or vintage product, you’re especially lucky. These items are known to retain their value and resell for the original price or for a profit.

Like many other fashion brands, Burberry aims to retain their product value and never discount their items. Their annual price increase was only 0.24% in 2021, however, this on average makes a $3,000 purchase more expensive by $7.20 this year.

The brand has hinted that their surge in sales for 2021 may encourage a higher price increase for 2022, aiming for continued exclusivity of brand image. 

Burberry’s margins are high

According to The Business of Fashion, the average cost for a luxury brand to manufacture an item is 65% of its retail price. That means the average $2,500 trench coat cost Burberry $1625 to design, manufacture, and list for sale. The cost to produce an item includes the cost of raw materials, design, manufacturing, and fulfilment. Burberry manufactures their products both in the UK and China, both of which are seeing a surge in the cost of labour.  

There are many more factors that contribute to the price of a luxury item. The cost of marketing, retail rent and paying their staff’s wages. It all adds up and for these brands, it can burn a huge hole in their pockets. 


Burberry will continue to be a valuable name within luxury fashion. Their links to royalty define the brand as sophisticated and exclusive, making it irresistibly attractive to consumers. 

Their innovation in fabric is also a key component of why the brand set their profit margins so high. Aside from their use of gabardine, the brand is committed to a more sustainable future in fashion – This is something that environmentally conscious consumers are willing to pay big money for. 

You could argue that these luxury brands continue to increase their price tags because, we the consumers, are willing to pay whatever expense for an exclusive label item. A recent Forbes article revealed Burberry sales were up 90% for the first quarter of 2021 and there are no signs of it slowing down. 

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