Burberry Puts ‘Social Retail’ to the Test at Shenzhen

Aug 5, 2020 | BEAUTY, BIZ, China, NEWS, STYLE, TECH

Luxury fashion pioneer Burberry has teamed up with Tencent’s WeChat to cope with the pandemic. The brand has combined their physical and social media elements in a way no fashion house has ever done before.

There’s no denying that most industries are feeling the financial blow of COVID-19. Every month, it seems like hundreds of stores close, and several businesses declare bankruptcy. As months go by, many brands have been forced to innovate and adjust their retail strategies to continue attracting customers..

China Is the Obvious Choice

In China, Burberry has unveiled a major store in Shenzhen, its 63rd in the area. This is the first-ever “social retail” store of the brand. Burberry chose the location because it is where young people are spending money right now. The city currently has a population of 12 million people, where the average age is under 30. 

“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,” said company CEO Marco Gobbetti in a statement.  

The move was completed in cooperation with Tencent, which is the company behind video game Fortnite and messaging app WeChat. The space aims to integrate gaming and social media to the customers’ shopping experience in a unique way that goes beyond the average user experience. 

“I am fascinated by the balance between nature and technology, and the energy that connects the two,”  said Burberry creative director Riccardo Tisci, adding that the store explores the said relationship, blending the digital and the physical realms in an exciting new concept.

Burberry’s Ground-Breaking Platform

With this new scheme, customers can book their appointments, reserve a fitting room, and make a reservation at the café. All of these will allow them to accrue social currency, which functions like a credit card rewards program on social media. The more customers use it and share their content, the more they can unlock amazing rewards. 

Burberry gives every customer an adorable Bambi-like avatar that evolves as they use the platform. The Burberry products are labeled using QR codes that reveal additional content when it is scanned. Aside from the Burberry products, customers can also unlock items on the Thomas Café menu which include the dinosaur fries at In-N-Out, plus an exclusive rope space called the Trench Experience.