Burberry CEO: Chinese slowdown not temporary

China’s slowdown could be more than just a passing phase for the luxury goods sector, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts told French newspaper Les Echos today. The Chinese economy’s 2013 growth looks set to meet the government’s 7.5 percent target, but that would still represent the slowest pace of expansion in 23 years.

“This Chinese slowdown is maybe not a temporary accident but a new normal,” Ahrendts said. Burberry, which rang alarm bells on a slowdown in China more than a year ago, has shut half its stores in China since it took over its distribution network, Ahrendts said.

“There are other growth opportunities in the world,” she was quoted as saying, listing Latin America and Indonesia, which she described as “the new China”.

Burberry flagship store Beijing