Burberry and Chinese technology giant Tencent have collaborated on a new concept store in China, which has been dubbed a ‘social retail’ experience.

The luxury fashion house, which has built up its technological prowess in recent years, aims to combine the physical and social media worlds by creating a way for customers to interact with the brand and its products on and offline.

The concept, founded in partnership with digital and social media conglomerate Tencent, uses social media interactions and brings them into the store.

Using a dedicated WeChat mini-program, customers can unlock exclusive content and personalised experiences and share them with their communities.

The program was created to help customers experience the store physically or digitally. They can use it to access features such as store tours and product information or to book in-store appointments, event tickets and tables at the in-store cafe.

The more a customer engages with the brand, the more rewards they can receive including exclusive cafe menu items and content.

The 5,800 sq foot store has 10 rooms with features including an interactive store window, QR codes on all products for customers to discover more information and three bookable fitting rooms each with their own decor and playlist.

Every area of the store is designed to have its own personality and offer a different interactive experience, drawing on famous Burberry elements such as the trench coat, monogram and the animal kingdom.

Burberry plans to use the space to test and learn from new innovations, which could then be rolled out to other Burberry stores.

Chief executive Marco Gobbetti said: “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.”

The Shenzhen store is the latest of Burberry’s tech-powered offerings, marking a big return to Chinese trading after the coronavirus pandemic decimated its in-store sales.

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