Luxury fashion brand Burberry has partnered with Tencent’s WeChat to combine the physical and social media worlds in a new way; a ‘social retail’ store in Shenzhen is the result.

A dedicated WeChat mini-program enables customers to experience the store physically or digitally. They can use it to look up product information or book in-store appointments; further features include store tours and the capability to book fitting rooms, event tickets and tables at the in-store cafe.

The concept, reports Retail Week, also enables customers to unlock exclusive content and personalised experiences and then share these with their own communities. And the more a customer engages with the brand, the more rewards they can receive.

The store itself has ten rooms, each designed to have its own personality and offer a different interactive experience, all products carry QR codes to enable customers to discover more information and three bookable fitting rooms each with their own decor and playlist.

“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 Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti. “Together with Tencent, we have pioneered a new concept that will redefine expectations of luxury retail.”

The new store, he added, “marks a shift in how we engage with our customers and we can’t wait to share this innovative experience with the world.”

It’s the latest in a series of moves the brand is making in China where it has seen sales start to recover following the Q1 slump caused by COVID- 19 (although some of this is due to “the repatriation of sales given COVID-19 travel restrictions”).

In a recent trading update, Burberry highlighted a leather goods campaign in Mainland Chin which featured a series of more sustainable pop up stores incorporating an augmented reality experience.

There was also a limited edition Pocket Bag for influential fashion blogger Mr Bags’ WeChat followers which sold out within a minute of becoming available.

Sourced from Retail Week, Burberry; additional content by WARC staff