Technology and luxury goods: Catwalk credentials

Bringing a touch of style

AMONG stewards of big luxury brands Angela Ahrendts, the boss of Burberry, is probably the geekiest. Her main achievement has been to make the 150-year-old British company the most technologically savvy of its peers. Burberry plans to be the first luxury company that is “fully digital end to end”, she boasts. But what can she do for Apple, which on October 14th said it would poach her to run its retailing operations? Probably the opposite: revive a sense of style at a tech firm that has lately looked a bit dowdy.Many purveyors of luxury fret about cheapening their wares by selling them online. Of the 100 biggest luxury brands just 56 have transactional websites, according to Exane BNP Paribas, an investment bank. Ms Ahrendts, an American who took over Burberry in 2006, had no such hangups. Not content with flogging calfskin trench coats online, she has deployed every platform, device or bit of software she could think of to romance customers and spark collaboration among employees and suppliers. iPad-wielding salespeople in Burberry stores can look up what customers have already bought, and suggest what might…

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