Burberry brings the future of shopping to Shenzhen, China today. On July 31, it announces its first luxury social retail store in the Chinese city, in collaboration with Chinese tech giant Tencent.
A digitally immersive retail experience that cleverly blends the physical and social worlds, the store at the new Shenzhen Bay MixC development is a space designed for customers to explore, be inspired and entertained, whether physically or via social media.
Customers can make appointment bookings, events and table reservations in Thomas’s Cafe, its in-store café and community space through a dedicated WeChat mini programme–a bespoke digital companion, if you will. This unique platform also allows customers to “earn rewards” through the Burberry social currency feature and unlock exclusive content, services and earn limited café menu items they more they engage with it.
Marco Gobbetti, CEO at Burberry says in an official statement: “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.”
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The 539sqm new store that opens today is also quite a sight to behold, with fixtures and plinths constructed in a variety of materials and textures, ranging from plywood to mirror and high-gloss finishes. The colour code is a soothing mix of of beige, blue, pink and pistachio with references to the Thomas Burberry Monogram and the fawn print.
Chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci adds: “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.”
Other in-store features include:
Interactive Store Window
Inspired by the mirrored runway from Burberry’s Autumn/ Winter 2020 runway show, the technology behind the window creates cleverly captures the user’s shape and responds to his or her body movement, creating a unique moment that can be shared with friends. Just like the fashion season, the window changes with time to reflect the latest collections and house codes.
The Trench Experience
This is a room that’s specially designed to be an immersive digital experience, taking customers through the history of Burberry’s signature trench coat. Dubbed the Trench Experience, it allows users to on a history tour of the house’s heritage, and creates personal content that can be shared on social media.
This is also the first Burberry store in the world to employ the QR code technology. What is does is, it allows customers to discover the latest collections, seasonal products and discover exclusive pieces only available here. The QR code also unlocks additional content within the mini programme and lets you earn social currency.
Designed as a dynamic space that can be used for activities including talks, workshops, exhibitions and live performances (with bookings made through the mini programme), this cafe is a nod to Burberry’s founder Thomas Burberry. Using the same colour palette as the store, it references Nature and Burberry’s Animal Kingdom throughout the space. Tisci has also designed bespoke tableware that’s exclusive to Thomas Cafe.
Menu wise, it’s a celebration of English and Chinese tea culture. New menu items will also be unlocked the more users engage with the WeChat mini programme.
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