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Could Burberry's new Shenzhen store be the future of retail?

Could Burberry's new Shenzhen store be the future of retail?

Text: Meeran Mekkaoui


Image: © Courtesy of Burberry

Burberry just debuted a one-of-a-kind social retail store in China, powered by Tencent technology...

Some of the world's retailers are currently facing a host of challenges and as we emerge from the threshold of nationwide lockdowns and the new norm of social distancing, brands are left to implement new ideas and push the boundaries of what's possible.

Burberry, a brand that has always been embedded with innovation and heritage, is challenging the future of retail and introduced an entirely new concept with its latest store opening in Shenzhen, China.

A store of tomorrow for today, the luxury brand's first social store is an immersive retail experience that will blend the physical and social worlds through a digital approach.

Could Burberry's new Shenzhen store be the future of retail? (фото 1)

Designed to inspire and entertain its customers, the digital immersive retail experience will allow them to interact with the brand and products in new and exciting ways — both in person and on social media.

In an exclusive partnership with Tencent technology, customers will be able to unlock exclusive content and personalised experiences and share them. Also, the store is divided into several spaces, each introducing its own concept and offers a unique interactive experience — think the Trench experience, interactive store windows and QR codes.

Could Burberry's new Shenzhen store be the future of retail? (фото 2)

Here are some of the achingly cool things you can experience whilst in store:

1. QR Codes: Products in the store are labelled with QR codes that connect to digital screens, further enhancing the in-store experience. Scanning the codes will unlock latest collections, seasonal products and discover exclusive pieces — each with product storytelling within the mini program.

2. 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. You'll be able to choose from a dedicated library of playlists whilst trying on clothes.

3. 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 as it's designed as a digitally immersive journey through nature.

4. Interactive Store Windows: The first digital experience starts upon entering the store as a living sculpture, inspired by the mirrored runway from the Burberry Autumn/Winter 2020 runway show Memories, will reflects the viewer's shape and responds to body movement. Every season, the window will evolve to reflect the latest collections and house codes.

Could Burberry's new Shenzhen store be the future of retail? (фото 3)

"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," explains Riccardo Tisci. "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."

To further the Burberry experience, the store is complemented with Thomas's Cafe — a dedicated space named after the brand's founder in order to connect the Burberry community.

Tisci introduced interiors inspired by the brand's archives with stunning high-gloss tones of beige, layered curtains and chamfered mirroring set the overall tone of the cafe. The menu celebrates English and Chinese tea culture with playful and modern fusion elements.

Could Burberry's new Shenzhen store be the future of retail? (фото 4)

Now, discover Burberry's latest venture in gaming.

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