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Burberry debuts luxury’s first social retail store in Shenzhen, China, powered by Tencent technology

31 July 2020

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 on 31 July 2020, is a space of exploration, designed to inspire and entertain luxury customers, where they can interact with our brand and product in new and exciting ways, in person and on social media.

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 program, 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.

Marco Gobbetti, CEO at Burberry

Marco Gobbetti, CEO at Burberry

“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

“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

Martin Lau

Here is Martin Lau, President at Tencent , what says: “Value for users, tech for good’ is Tencent’s mission. Through continuous efforts driving technology advancement, Tencent strives to provide better products and services to Burberry, and in relay to the consumers. Through the partnership with Burberry, we hope to provide our contribution in the upgrading of luxury retail, improving the quality of people’s lives, and promoting sustainable development, through which we hope to ultimately support maximizing the social value.”


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.

Social Currency

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.

“We are delighted to see the successful launch of Burberry’s first global social retail store in Shenzhen. We regard this as the starting point for a new era of innovation. Through connecting social and retail environments, we will create innovative digital services and delightful experiences for our users, help brands build deep emotional connections with consumers, and support the laying of strong foundations for the long-term growths of brands.” Davis Lin, Senior Vice President at Tencent

The Store

The new store features fixtures and plinths constructed in a variety of materials and textures, from plywood to mirror and high-gloss finishes. The store unveils a colour palette of beige, pistachio, pink and blue, as well as references to the Thomas Burberry Monogram and the fawn print. The 539 sqm/5800 sqft store features 10 rooms and offers a truly interactive experience, with features including:

Interactive Store Window

Upon entering the store, customers encounter an interactive window, where they discover the first digital experience. A living sculpture, inspired by the mirrored runway from the Burberry Autumn/Winter 2020 runway show Memories, the window reflects the viewer’s shape and responds to body movement, creating a unique moment that can be captured and shared with friends. The window evolves through the seasons to reflect the latest collections and house codes.

Thomas’s Cafe

To complement the store is Thomas’s Cafe, a dedicated space for the Burberry community to connect. Named after the fashion house’s founder, Thomas Burberry, Thomas’s Cafe takes inspiration from the creative codes introduced by Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci, including high-gloss tones of beige, layered curtains and chamfered mirroring. Nature and Burberry’s Animal Kingdom are also referenced throughout the space and can be seen in the prints on the wall, taken from the brand’s archives by Riccardo, as well as in the bespoke tableware that is exclusive to the Thomas’s Cafe. The menu celebrates English and Chinese tea culture with playful and modern fusion elements. The café menu can also evolve as customers engage with the WeChat mini program and their social currency advances, unlocking new menu items. The café is designed as a dynamic space, which can be converted into a community space for activities including talks, workshops, exhibitions and live performances, with bookings made through the mini program.

QR Codes

Customers can find Burberry’s latest collections, seasonal products and discover exclusive pieces only available to buy in the Shenzhen store. All products are labelled with QR codes that connect to digital screens, further enhancing the in-store experience. Scanning the QR code unlocks additional content and product storytelling within the mini program and contributes towards building social currency. This is the first Burberry store to include scannable QR codes on product swing tags, adding a digital layer of discovery.

Fitting Rooms

The store houses three fittings rooms, each with its own creative concept, drawing on Burberry’s house codes: the Burberry Animal Kingdom, Reflections and the Thomas Burberry Monogram. The fitting rooms are designed to celebrate the experience of trying on Burberry product and each has a dedicated library of playlists to listen to. Customers can pre-book their preferred room through the mini program.

The Trench Experience

As a celebration of the signature Burberry trench coat, the Trench Experience is an exclusive space that customers can unlock as they build their social currency. A homage to Thomas’s Burberry’s vision to create a breathable weatherproof fabric to protect against the elements, the room is designed as a digitally immersive journey through nature, bringing Burberry’s heritage of exploration to life and creating unique and personal content for the customer to share on social media.

About the Store Opening times: Sunday – Thursday, 10am to 10pm Friday – Saturday, 10am to 10:30pm

About The Burberry And Tencent Partnership

Luxury fashion house Burberry and Chinese technology giant Tencent announced in November 2019 an exclusive partnership to develop social retail in China.
Burberry’s social retail store in the new Shenzhen Bay MixC development will offer unique experiences that connect luxury customers’ social and online lives to their physical environments.

About Burberry

  • Burberry is a global luxury brand, headquartered in London, UK
  • At 27 June, Burberry had 62 stores in Mainland China
  • Founded in 1856, Burberry is listed on the London Stock Exchange (BRBY.L) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.
  • Burberry, the Equestrian Knight Device, the Burberry Check and the Thomas Burberry Monogram and Print are trademarks belonging to Burberry.
  • For more news: www.burberryplc.com

About Tencent

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Our communications and social platforms, WeChat and QQ, connect users with each other and with digital content and services, both online and offline, making their lives more convenient. Our targeted advertising platform helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our FinTech and business services support our partners’ business growth and assist their digital upgrade. Tencent invests heavily in talent and technological innovation, actively promoting the development of the Internet industry. Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (00700.HK) was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in 2004.

Head Office, Horseferry House

Burberry HQ Horseferry House Horseferry Road Westminster, London SW1P 2AW United Kingdom

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