Imagine if every social media action you took virtually rewarded you with ‘social currency' of some kind; imagine if the jumper you saved online was already hanging in the fitting room as you walked in store. Think of what it would be like if you were given a Bambi avatar that grows as you shop, one that is exactly the same to the character you encounter while playing your favourite game online...
While we're aware this all sounds a bit like something out of the Netflix series Black Mirror, Burberry is testing a new concept store that could very well incorporate all of these elements and become the reality of luxury fashions post-pandemic future...
The retail concept, unveiled on July 31 in China’s tech hub Shenzhen, is Burberry’s first step in an exclusive partnership with Tencent, the owner of WeChat, and aims to integrate social media and gaming into a physical retail environment.
The boutique is made up of a series of spaces each having its own concept and personality, offering a unique interactive experience for customers to explore. Upon entering the store customers are welcomed by a living sculpture, inspired by the mirrored runway from the Burberry Autumn/ Winter 2020 runway show 'Memories'.
Each unique space draws upon Burberry’s rich heritage, celebrating the brands iconic imagery such as the Thomas Burberry Monogram, Nature, Burberry Animal Kingdom and the Burberry Trench Coat. Featuring scannable QR codes on product swing tags, the boutique is home to three beautiful fittings rooms, each boasting its own unique creative concept and dedicated library playlists.
Through Burberry's WeChat 'mini program' customers can unlock exclusive content and personalised experiences to share with their online communities. The mini program is a part of a digital companion experience tailored to enhance the way customers interact with the store, whether they are there physically or virtually.
Through it, customers can access features including store tours, product information and a dedicated client service platform. Featuring in-store appointment bookings for events, table reservations in the Thomas’s Cafe and the community space.
Within the mini program, customers can also earn rewards through the Burberry social currency feature, unlocking exclusive content and personalised experiences. The more the customer engages with Burberry, the richer their experience becomes. Rewards range from exclusive café menu items (i.e. ‘Secret’ menu items) at the Thomas Café or an exclusive, velvet rope space in the store called the Trench Experience.
Named after the fashion house’s founder, Thomas Burberry, the café compliments the store as a dedicated space for the Burberry community to connect; it can also be converted into a space for activities such as talks, workshops, exhibitions and live performances.
Taking inspiration from Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci’s creativity, the cafe references the brands archives with links to Nature and Burberry’s Animal Kingdom seen in the prints on the walls. Including high-gloss tones of beige, layered curtains and chamfered mirroring, with bespoke tableware that is exclusive to the cafe. The menu celebrates Burberry’s British heritage and Chinese tea culture with playful and modern fusion elements - a perfect afternoon setting.
As 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. Truly a dynamic retail experience like no other.
For more information visit burberry.com
Images Courtsey of Burberry