Burberry unexpectedly leaves Chile

In a totally unexpected turn of events, British luxury brand Burberry has withdrawn from the Chilean market after three and a half years of operations. According to local media sources, the closure is a  result of connections between the Panamian owner of the Burberry franchise in Latin America, Grupo Wisa, with drug-trafficking networks and money-laundering.

The exterior of Burberry's Chilean store - Emol

Earlier this month, the only Burberry store in the luxury district of Parque Arauco drew its curtains with no intention to return. The brand name and visuals from the label’s latest campaign are still visible in the shop window, the newspaper Economia y Negocios reports.

This is not the first closure due to crises related to Grupo Wisa. Prior to Burberry, duty-free store chain La Riviera in Colombia was also affected, where the property owners wrapped up lease contracts. Falabella, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Fedco and the Fossil Group also ended their business agreements with the Panamian group after the company was entered into the Clinton List, a U.S. list of trade-sanctioned companies and individuals.
Currently, Mexico and Brazil are the principal markets for the British brand in the area. It also has points of sale in Colombia, Puerto Rica and Panama.

Translated by Erin Floyd

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