The Future of Luxury | Burberry debuts luxury’s first social retail store in Shenzen, China
Burberry announces luxury’s first social retail store in China’s technology hub Shenzhen, blending the physical and social worlds in a digitally immersive retail experience – a store of tomorrow for today. Powered by Tencent technology, the store, which will open in the new Shenzhen Bay MixC development today, 31st July 2020, is a space of exploration, designed to inspire and entertain luxury customers, where they can interact with the Burberry brand and product in new and exciting ways, in person and on social media.
Twelve months in the making, and born from Marco Gobbetti’s vision of creating social retail and building a long-term relationship with the customer, the Shenzhen store is just the beginning – with a new Burberry experience on WeChat blending e-commerce, social media, community building, gamification and social currency. And when borders reopen and the Chinese customer starts travelling again, they will be able to use it wherever they are in the world to build their relation with the brand.
“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. 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 the world.”
Marco Gobbetti, CEO at Burberry
The concept, which is the first step in an exclusive partnership with Tencent, takes interactions from social media and brings them into a physical retail environment. Through a dedicated WeChat mini programme, customers can unlock exclusive content and personalised experiences and share them with their communities.
The store is made up of a series of spaces for customers to explore. Each has its own concept and personality and offers a unique interactive experience. Drawing upon Burberry’s rich heritage, the store also celebrates the house codes as reinterpreted by Riccardo Tisci, including the Trench Coat, the Thomas Burberry Monogram, Nature and the Burberry Animal Kingdom.
Thomas Burberry was an inventor and a dreamer. The new social retail store reflects Burberry’s pioneering history of firsts and ambition to continue to push boundaries through innovation and creativity. It is a unique space to test and learn, and to trial innovation that can be expanded to the rest of the Burberry network in China.”
“I am fascinated by the balance between nature and technology, and the energy that connects the two. This store explores this relationship, blending the digital and the physical realms in an exciting new concept. I wanted to bring this love of the outdoors to life through all the elements of the store, which can be seen in the Burberry Animal Kingdom prints in the café as well as in the fully immersive Trench Experience and even in the small details of the design materials. I really wanted to draw upon these familiar house codes to bring our community together in an interactive journey of discovery.”
Riccardo Tisci, Chief Creative Officer at Burberry
“Burberry has always been a pioneering brand when it comes to digital – this initiative genuinely breaks new ground and sets a new bar for digital innovation, blending social and physical retail with e-commerce in an engaging, playful way that will prove hugely effective with customers. Burberry has once again set a new benchmark in luxury.”
Helen Brocklebank, CEO of Walpole
The WeChat Mini Program
In partnership with Tencent, Burberry has developed a custom mini program, which brings the store to life through exclusive content and personalised experiences that can be unlocked on WeChat. The mini program is a bespoke digital companion, tailored to enhance the way customers experience the store, whether they are there physically or virtually. Through it, customers can access features such as store tours and learn about products. It also provides a platform for dedicated client services, in-store appointment bookings, events and table reservations in Thomas’s Cafe, the in-store café and community space.
The more the customer engages with Burberry, the richer their experience becomes. Within the mini program, customers can earn rewards through the Burberry social currency feature, unlocking exclusive content and personalised experiences. Each customer is given a playful animal character that evolves as they engage in-store and social, with new characters and outfits to discover. Rewards range from exclusive café menu items to mini program content.