- Huw Hughes
Burberry has opened the doors of what it describes as “luxury’s first
social retail store” in Shenzhen, China.
The store, opened on Friday, aims to “blend the physical and social
worlds” – a concept the British luxury label has been progressively exploring.
In early July, it launched a campaign juxtaposing a video of CGI
digital avatars – one of which was Kendall Jenner – with a set of photo
self portraits shot by Jenner. The label has also launched a series of digital games in the past year allowing users to win
both virtual and physical rewards.
Physical meets digital
The 5,800-square-foot store is split up into 10 rooms for customers to
explore and interact with, in person or through social media. Through a
dedicated WeChat mini program, developed through an exclusive partnership
with Tencent, shoppers will be able to earn social currency as they explore
the store, which they can use to access exclusive content and personalised
experiences. Each customer is given a digital animal character that evolves
as they engage with in-store experiences.
The program will feature store tours and product information, and will
also act as a portal for client services, such as in-store appointment
bookings and events reservations.
Other features of the store include an interactive digital window at the
entrance inspired by the mirrored runway from the Burberry AW20 show,
Memories; a cafe – called Thomas’s Cafe; three fittings rooms, each with
its own creative concept, which shoppers can pre-book through the mini
program; and, of course, Burberry’s latest collections, all labelled with
QR codes shoppers can scan to unlock product information.
“Burberry has always been a brand of firsts, built on a belief that
creativity has the power to open spaces. We test new ideas and push the
boundaries of what’s possible. When it came to innovating around social and
retail, China was the obvious place to go as home to some of the most
digitally savvy luxury customers,” CEO Marco Gobbetti said.
“Together with Tencent, we have pioneered a new concept that will
redefine expectations of luxury retail. The first step in an exclusive
partnership between our companies, Burberry’s social retail store in
Shenzhen is a place of discovery that connects and rewards customers as
they explore online and in store. It marks a shift in how we engage with
our customers and we can’t wait to share this innovative experience with
Photo credit: Burberry