Burberry on Friday debuted its first social retail store in Shenzhen, China. The 5,800-square-foot store is designed for customers to interact with its products in person and on social media.
The store, which is part of its partnership with tech firm Tencent, allows customers to access content and personalized experiences, and share them online, according to a company announcement. As part of the collaboration with Tencent, Burberry created content for shoppers to unlock via WeChat, including store tours, product information, in-store appointment bookings, events and table reservations at the in-store Thomas' Cafe.
As part of the WeChat social currency, customers will receive an animal character that changes as they interact with the brand in store and via social media and discover new characters, cafe menu items and other content and along the way.
Burberry is joining other brands like Nike in opening digital-centric brick-and-mortar stores. For Burberry, it made sense to go to China to test out the new concept in a place with digitally savvy shoppers, Marco Gobbetti, CEO at Burberry, said in a statement.
"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," Gobbetti said. "It marks a shift in how we engage with our customers and we can't wait to share this innovative experience with the world."
Burberry is also the latest company to integrate WeChat into its social media strategy. Others, including Perfect Corp. and Benefit Cosmetics, have brought on augmented reality features for beauty try-ons.
The luxury fashion retailer is also one of several companies to test out QR codes. Burberry's in-store merchandise is labeled with QR codes that connect to digital screens and unlock new content and add to shoppers' social currency, per its announcement. Other companies, including CVS and WhatsApp, have integrated QR codes to facilitate contactless payments or chat with customers.
"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, said in a statement.